AFL round 12: Brody Mihocek stretchered off after head knock during Melbourne Demons contest

Collingwood Magpies forward Brody Mihocek was stretchered off the Gabba after copping a brutal head knock against the Melbourne Demons on Saturday.During the second quarter of the round 12 encounter in Brisbane, veteran midfielder Steele Sidebottom booted the footy inside 50 towards Pies teammate Ben Reid.
After contesting for the ball in the air, Melbourne defender Aaron vandenBerg’s elbow collided with Mihocek, who was also attempting to claim the mark.
Watch Footy LIVE & On-Demand Every Day from July 29 – August 17 with Kayo. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >
The match was immediately paused after the 27-year-old was spotted motionless on the turf, as a concerned Nathan Buckley watched on from the viewing box.
Melbourne great Garry Lyon clarified there was no malicious play as several medics ran onto the ground with a stretcher.
“That is just a contest. That is unfortunate for Brody Mihocek,” Lyon said on Fox Footy commentary.
“Don’t tell me that footy’s not a hard game.
“Let’s just hope he’s OK … he’s been one of the best value for money footy players in the competition for a number of years.”
St Kilda legend Nick Riewoldt added: “The contact when his head hit the ground too, so the double whammy.
“It was a really brave act from Mihocek … that was a brave contest from all involved.”
AFL Live Scores: Round 12 match centres
Former Western Bulldogs star Robert Murphy told AFL Nation: “That would just magnify the distance away for the family right now. It would be really difficult for Mihocek’s family to watch that.”
There was harrowing silence from the crowd until Mihocek was lifted onto the medic cart, at which point the 5000 spectators at the Gabba applauded. Even though he was visibly in a lot of discomfort, the Pies forward was filmed moving his arms and legs as he was taken off the field.
The Age sports journalist Daniel Cherny tweeted: “So good to see Mihocek moving his limbs and alert. Crazy courage from all players, including vandenBerg who seems to have a weekly facial fracture.”
The Advocate sports writer Alex Fair posted: “So much courage from Mihocek there. But that’s so bloody scary. Fingers and toes crossed for him.”
Magpies coach Buckley confirmed at halftime: “We won’t see him for the rest of the night.”
READ MORE: Coach’s all-time spray for ‘sloppy’ Lions
Mihocek has become the latest addition to Collingwood’s lengthy casualty list, which includes Jordan De Goey and Jeremy Howe.
Unfortunately, Collingwood struggled to rediscover their form after the lengthy delay, with Melbourne slotting three consecutive goals to take a 10.4 (64) to 5.2 (32) lead into halftime.
Playing in their first fixture against the Demons away from the MCG since 1994, the Magpies were unable to convert opportunities in front of goal — while Melbourne boasted 65 per cent efficiency inside 50, Collingwood could only manage 37 per cent.
“The Pies are their own worst enemy right now,” Lyon said.
“They’ve started this really poorly. They just haven’t used the footy well at all and made bad decisions.
“Melbourne are all over Collingwood.”
Hawthorn legend Leigh Matthews told 3AW: “Melbourne at the moment seem to have more life in their legs and are spreading much better.”
The Demons went on to thrash the Magpies 16.4 (100) to 6.8 (44) — following their sixth win of the season, Melbourne climb to eighth spot on the AFL ladder.