JAK PUT IN HOSPITAL
Heavy hit leaves Inverleigh star with bruised kidney
COURAGEOUS spearhead Jak Kennedy-Hunt returned home from hospital late yesterday after suffering an internal injury in Inverleigh’s gutwrenching loss to Bell Post Hill.
Kennedy-Hunt was last night nursing a bruised kidney after copping a heavy hit in the final quarter of Saturday’s loss at The Gordon TAFE Oval.
“My kidney was bleeding and it stopped in the end, so I’m lucky that I avoided the split and the surgery that goes with it,” Kennedy-Hunt told the Geelong Advertiser last night. Hawks president Rick McEwan said earlier yesterday that Kennedy-Hunt was kept in overnight Saturday for observation. “They are concerned about it (bruising) turning into a bleed because that could be fatal,” McEwan said. “He couldn’t make the vote count today (yesterday) because he’s lying in a h hospital bed. “He’s in very good spirits bu but he’s a lucky boy ... it wa was a big impact.” It completed a horror ru run of injuries for the H Hawks’er er, who centuryentered the goalkickmatch wi with a host of concerns, in including a 5cm tear in hi his quad and a calf strain. “That was done five or six weeks ago,” Inver- leigh coach Mark McDowell said of Kennedy-Hunt’s quad complaint.
“If you have a look at his shins ... his shins are black and blue and bruised. He played with a strained calf. He wasn’t 100 per cent, that’s the honest truth, but he was still a presence for us up forward.
“We kept him deep and, in normal circumstances, I would’ve been releasing him into the midfield. He just wasn’t able to do that.”
McDowell admitted it “crossed his mind” to leave Kennedy-Hunt out of the side, given his history of injuries in the past two months.
“I always knew he wasn’t 100 per cent, that’s a given, but Jak being 80 per cent right is better than someone else being 100 per cent,” McDowell said. “He gets the best defender, (Cam) Addie has to go to him, and that releases Dalton (Grundell) and it stretches them a little bit.
“He didn’t put in a poor performance and he didn’t put in a good per- formance either.” Kennedy-Hunt, a former SANFL star, is uncontracted for next season and GFL clubs are circling.
But McDowell is hopeful he will remain in brown and gold.
“As far as I’m aware he’s not contracted to the club,” McDowell said.
“The club has been in discussions with him, but I know he’s been very happy at Inverleigh and I couldn’t see any reason why he wouldn’t play there next year.”
The Hawks extended an olive branch to Kennedy-Hunt following his issues outside football, but McDowell stressed that the powerhouse forward did not need to “repay the faith”.
“I don’t think Jak Kennedy-Hunt owes us anything,” McDowell said.
“At all. I think the club has been privilege to have a player of that calibre in the league. We’re privilege to have such a player and such a fantastic bloke. He owes us nothing. We owe him.”