Brisbane Lions defender Harris Andrews will miss at least the next two AFL games and is being closely monitored after suffering brain bleeding following a sickening hit from Jeremy Cameron.
Andrews was rushed to hospital in the hours following Saturday’s 27-point loss to Greater Western Sydney, having copped an elbow to the chin from Cameron in an incident that caused uproar across the AFL.
He was released on Sunday night, with the Lions confirming he had a “severe” concussion with an associated small bleed on his brain and will be regularly monitored.
The club has been in regular contact with a neurosurgeon who will examine Andrews in a fortnight. That means Andrews will sit out Sunday’s away clash with Fremantle and the encounter with Carlton at home in the following round.
“Our discussions with the neurosurgeon have been encouraging as they expect Harris to make a full recovery,” Brisbane’s general manager of football David Noble said.
“He will have a follow-up scan in two weeks’ time, when we will know more.”
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Andrews, 21, needed four stitches to repair a cut on his chin but was said to be in good spirits once he returned to consciousness. He even made an appearance on Brisbane’s bench before half-time.
He also approached Cameron after the full-time siren but took a turn for the worse later that night.
The diagnosis will potentially add weeks to the lengthy suspension Cameron was already set to cop for the collision, with the star GWS forward likely to be referred directly to the AFL tribunal.
Cameron never looked a chance of winning the ball when he came in from behind at a marking contest and collected Andrews, who was moving back with the flight of the ball in an attempt to spoil, with a raised forearm.
Cameron did not get there for the mark, and he turned his body to one side – but his forearm appeared to be raised and his elbow made solid contact with Andrews.
Andrews hit the ground hard and did not move, with his arm pointed up in an unnatural position.
After the game, Cameron told Fox Footy he had not intended to hurt Andrews, but said that he “just played the ball on its merits. I like hitting it [the contest] nice and hard”.
The expectation after the game was that Cameron would be sent direct to the judiciary, leaving open the possibility of a penalty of three weeks or more.
The fact that Andrews returned to the bench – even though he did not play again – might have been seen as a possible argument in favour of a lesser ruling on the level of contact.
However, given that Andrews’ condition afterwards required an overnight stay in hospital, Cameron could find himself facing a lengthier period of suspension.