This is exactly why some footy coaches express such disdain some of the extra-curricular playing to which their players are subjected when some of those players come up injured for reasons that serve no purpose other than to maintain fitness or attract new audiences.
Many times, those new audiences supply no tangible benefit and the International Rules series is the perfect example.
Collingwood Magpie Scott Pendlebury broke his finger. It sounds insignificant, but Pendlebury missed the final six games of the 2017 AFL Premiership competition with a broken finger on his other hand.
It would now appear that the primary task for Pendlebury would be to make sure he is sound when the 2018 AFL season bounces.
Pendlebury was hurt late in the first half in the 10-point win by the Australian side. He did not come out for the second half and was subsequently sent for scans, although it seems hard to misdiagnose a broken finger, it would seem the main purpose of the scans is to determine the severity of the issue.
It is not believed that he will participate in the second Test this weekend coming. If he requires surgery, it could keep him out of the pre-season play of the upcoming AFL season.
Pendlebury looked good in the time he was on the ground and he can probably stay in the Emerald Island as a spectator, unless he truly does require treatment in excess of the usual and the Magpies’ first priority would be to see him ready for next season, rather than risk what could turn out to be a minor issue into something more threatening.
The Geelong Cats skipper, Joes Selwood sat out the entire match, as the risk of aggravating an ankle injury was too great to have him exposed. He does expect to be available for the second test, but again, an abundance of caution would seem in order, as International Rules occupies much the same role in Australian Rules as does Auckland 9s does to the NRL.