RETIRED modern-day-great Gary Ablett broke his shoulder in the chaotic opening five minutes of the Toyota AFL Grand Final, but played through the pain.

Surgeons will look at Ablett's shoulder scans and consult with the champion about the next steps of his recovery. He is expected to have a procedure when he returns to Melbourne.

Coach Chris Scott said after the game that he believed Ablett had cracked the shoulder when he slipped to the ground in a Trent Cotchin tackle early in the first quarter (WATCH THE INCIDENT IN THE PLAYER BELOW). This has since been confirmed.

00:38 Mins
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Footy world in shock as Ablett and Tiger helped off

An extraordinary and devastating start to the Toyota AFL Grand Final with both Gary Ablett and Nick Vlastuin forced to leave the field early following two heavy collisions

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Young midfielder Brandan Parfitt also fractured his thumb in the Grand Final and kept playing. Parfitt had surgery late on Tuesday.

It was a Grand Final full of carnage and drama, with Patrick Dangerfield knocking out Richmond defender Nick Vlastuin just seconds before the Ablett incident, and Bachar Houli tearing his calf but also playing out the game.

Dangerfield was later cleared by the Match Review Officer, who said Dangerfield's actions were "not unreasonable in the circumstances".

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Sam Simpson was also concussed in a massive hit during a marking contest and another Richmond defender, Nathan Broad, was sore after a collision in a separate contest.

00:52 Mins
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Cat goes down in biggest hit you'll ever see

A courageous mark from Sam Menegola is dampened by a worrying injury to youngster Sam Simpson, who is stretchered off the field after this incident

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Ablett returned to the ground later in the first quarter and played out the match before leaving the game through a guard of honour.

While it was Ablett's last game, Geelong is yet to decide if its other veteran, Harry Taylor, will continue next year.

The Cats announced on Monday that midfielders James Parsons and Jacob Kennerley and Category B rookie Blake Schlensog wouldn't be offered new deals for next season

The futures of Quinton Narkle and Lachie Henderson also remain unclear, both without deals for next year.

Gary Ablett bids farewell to the crowd as Cats and Tigers players form a guard of honour. Picture: AFL Photos