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Positive update on Bríd Stack after horror incident, with Cork great to make full recovery

Her club, Greater Western Sydney Giants, has issued a statement, confirming the extent of the neck injury.

Bríd Stack is tackled by fellow Irishwoman Ailish Considine earlier in yesterday's AFLW practice match.
Bríd Stack is tackled by fellow Irishwoman Ailish Considine earlier in yesterday's AFLW practice match.

CORK LEGEND BRÍD Stack has been released from hospital and is “expected to make a full recovery” after sustaining a worrying injury in a horror incident on her Aussie Rules debut yesterday.

“Scans revealed Stack has a stable fracture of the C7 vertebra and no injury to the surrounding nerves,” a statement from Greater Western Syndey [GWS] Giants reads.

“She does not require surgery but will wear a neck brace in the short term. She is expected to make a full recovery and will remain in Australia and a key part of the team as she rehabilitates from her injury.”

The Australian club confirmed yesterday that the 11-time All-Ireland winner and 2016 Footballer of the Year had been hospitalised “following spinal precaution protocols” after a fourth-quarter challenge in a practice match against Adelaide Crows; the action blown up early as a result.

Cork LGFA, for whom Stack represented with distinction until she retired from inter-county football two years ago, relayed some “positive news” from Australia shortly after, reporting that the 34-year-old was set to make a full recovery.

And the Giants issued a further, detailed update this morning.

“This was an incredibly unfortunate accident and we’re thankful that Bríd has avoided serious injury,” Giants Head of Women’s Football, Bri Harvey, said, with Stack released from hospital late on Sunday night to re-join the Giants squad, who are based in Adelaide for at least the next two weeks.

“Bríd and her family have made incredible sacrifices to come to Australia to play in the AFL Women’s competition and we will be supporting them all the way through her recovery.

“We’d like to thank all those who provided Bríd with the best possible care both at the ground and in hospital across Sunday.”

Stack’s AFLW ambitions for 2021 have likely been dashed as a result, the Rockchapel star facing a lengthy stint on the sidelines.

Adelaide midfielder Ebony Marinoff is facing a similar outcome, having been referred directly to the Tribunal for the dangerous tackle on Stack.

AFLW report that Marinoff has been charged with “forceful front-on contact” and that the incident was assessed as “careless conduct, high contact with severe impact.” 

Stack moved Down Under before Christmas with her husband, Cárthach, and their one-year-old son, Cárthach Óg, eventually pursuing the AFLW dream after some convincing by fellow ladies football great and now team-mate, Cora Staunton, and Giants’ head coach, Al McConnell.

Yesterday’s incident came at the end of a difficult week for her personally, following the death of Cork’s legendary manager Eamonn Ryan.

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Emma Duffy

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