Christian Petracca leaves the field injured during Melbourne's clash against Collingwood in round 13, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

CHRISTIAN Petracca has conceded has was unable to watch football over the weekend as he continues to process the "pretty traumatic" internal injuries and surgery he had last week, revealing he was forced to go under the knife without the assistance of a general anaesthetic.

Petracca has been ruled out for the rest of the 2024 campaign after suffering four broken ribs, a lacerated spleen and a small puncture to his lung in an incident in the King's Birthday game against Collingwood.

The Demons star was kneed in the ribs by Magpies captain Darcy Moore and despite trying to play on, he was eventually removed from the game and taken to hospital.

Petracca says he would have never attempted to play on had he known the severity of the injuries, adding it was only a secondary scan in hospital that revealed the full extent of the damage.

"I've been better ... it's been pretty traumatic, four or five days in ICU and the last couple of days were just in the ward. Now I'm out of hospital which is nice, I'm at home – thank God," Petracca told Nova 100.

"It's been pretty full on, I don't wish this on my worst enemy.


"I knew (Moore) hit me good ... but I didn't realise the severity of it until 2am (the next morning) when I was gassed up and they were doing surgery with my eyes open.

"I just thought it was a couple of cracked ribs, which is serious, but I thought I could go back and play.

"Had I known the severity of it, I obviously wouldn't have gone back out there. But at the time, I didn't know what the injury was like.

"I don't think we all understood the severity of it, to be honest. I think we got an initial scan around 8 or 9 o'clock at night. The first scan showed two cracked ribs, and then just a little bit of bleeding around the lung.

"I don't know what happened. I think 15 minutes later one of the doctors was just checking my blood levels and noticed my haemoglobin was dropping severely, and my blood levels were dropping. So I [had] another scan, and that's when they noticed on the next scan I had four cracked ribs, a grade-five spleen [laceration] and a punctured lung, too.

"It went from being a four out of 10, to basically a 10 out of 10, equivalent to a car accident. It seemed pretty full on. I had to go straight into surgery at 2am; open surgery. I wasn't under anaesthetic because my blood levels were so low."


While confident he will physically recover, Petracca conceded he's had a "natural feeling" of self doubt given the trauma of his experience.

"Bloody oath, at the moment – yeah," he said when asked if he has any doubts about returning to the field.

"It's still raw for me ... I watched a bit of footy on the weekend and I had to turn it off because when you see a simple tackle, you put yourself back in the situation you were in.

"But no doubt with the recovery process and everything I'll be able to tick off and my mindset, I'll be able to get back to the player I was. But at the moment, there's a lot of self doubt. Which is fine, it's a natural feeling, of course."