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Aussie Rules Player Lucky To Escape Quadriplegia After Horror On-Field Accident

A footballer has been released from a Melbourne hospital after suffering a broken neck during an AFL match on Saturday.

The Basin Bears player Mitchell Rule, 25, was knocked by a Ringwood player  during the last minutes of Eastern Football League (EFL) Division 2 contest at Jubilee Park in Melbourne's east.

The Herald Sun reports Rule's opponent claimed the ball after the centre bounce and then kicked it forward. Rule attempted to stop the ball and instead collided with Jackson.

Later, Bears coach Justin Stanton said Rule had fractured his C6 spinal segment. He was taken to the St Vincent's Hospital spinal unit, and released on Tuesday morning.

The Basin Bears Football Club has been contacted for an update on Rule's condition.

Eastern Football League
Image: Facebook/ Eastern Football League

Common symptoms of an acute spinal injury include muscle weakness, breathing problems, loss of feeling in arms, chest or legs and a loss of bowel and bladder function. In more serious cases, paraplegia or quadriplegia can occur.

READ MORE: What Are Your Legal Rights If Your Child Is Hurt Playing Sport?

"He was diagnosed with a fractured C6 and because it wasn’t displaced, he was able to avoid any spinal damage and he’s now recovering at home,” Stanton confirmed to The Herald Sun.

“From what the doctors have said … people who have sustained that type of injury in football and rugby circles and the like have ended up being quadriplegic.”

AFL
Stock photo. Image: Getty Images.

Rule is expected to be off work for a long period and is unlikely to play football again.

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READ MORE: Rugby Safety Review After Spate Of Serious Spinal Injuries In Schoolboy Matches

On Tuesday evening, the Ringwood player pleaded guilty at a tribunal for “intentionally or carelessly bumping or making forceful contact to an opponent from front-on”.

He was handed a six-week suspension for his role in causing Rule's injuries.

Contact Siobhan at skenna@networkten.com.au