WEST Coast premiership coach Adam Simpson says star defender Jeremy McGovern went to hospital with internal bleeding after copping a knock in the preliminary final.
McGovern went into Saturday’s AFL Grand Final under an injury cloud after a collision with Melbourne’s Christian Petracca last Saturday.
Simpson said McGovern had spent time in hospital on Saturday night and Sunday and wouldn’t have played if the clash had been a regular-season game.
“I asked that question to the docs, if it was home and away and they said ‘probably not,’” Simpson said.
“He was in hospital on Saturday night and Sunday. He had a hip pointer, so that was the truth, but he just had this internal bleeding around his organs.
“And we just had to let that, the hip pointer settled a bit, but there was blood in here somewhere — I’m not a doctor, obviously — but we had to get that settled. And once we tipped over ‘this is safe’, then it was about his comfort.
“So pretty special effort I would’ve thought for him to be in hospital for a couple of days.
“He wouldn’t have played if it was home and away but he would’ve played if it was last week.”
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McGovern finished the game with 14 disposals, nine marks, three contested marks and nine spoils, including making some crucial interceptions.
Simpson said McGovern’s passion for the club meant they backed him in to do what was needed to get up for the Grand Final.
“I’m not surprised that ‘Gov’ could do that, he plays sore a lot. He looks sore all the time, even when he’s feeling good,” Simpson said.
“And he’s an old school footballer, not the way he plays. But he loves his mates. He loves a beer … when the time’s right. He has passion for the club and that’s why he’s in our leadership group.
“And those type of things make you feel that you can back those guys in on the big occasion because they’ll do whatever it takes.”