Footy legend Jonathan Brown has become a haunting cautionary tale for footy players in 2020 after he made an ugly injury revelation on live TV Thursday night.
The Brisbane Lions champion has admitted he carried a secret finger injury throughout his career and it’s left him with a permanent deformity in his left hand.
The Fox Footy analyst and popular breakfast radio host came clean at the end of Fox Footy’s live coverage of the Western Bulldogs’ win over the Gold Coast when he said he was supposed to have surgery to repair a tendon in his left pinky finger.
It is a similar injury to the one Collingwood superstar Jordan De Goey has recently undergone surgery for. De Goey will miss up to 10 weeks of football.
Brown played on to avoid missing games of football with his injury — but he’s paying the price now.
When the subject of De Goey’s surgery came up on the Fox Footy broadcast, Brown revealed he can no longer straighten the injured finger.
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“If you don’t have surgery, it ends up like that,” Brown said while showing off his pinky finger at a jagged angle — drawing a grossed-out response from Fox Footy host Sarah Jones.
“It should be the other way.”
When told to straighten his finger by footy legend Nick Riewoldt, Brown responded: “I can’t. That’s as far as it goes. I can’t straighten that finger. The problem is the tendon is broken. This is a pretty ordinary look.”
Brown went on to explain his tendon injury was on the opposite side of the finger to De Goey’s fresh injury — meaning the Collingwood player would be able to stretch his finger, but would be unable to ever fully close the finger again without surgery.
Brown said at the time he was facing 12 weeks on the sideline, but instead made the decision to play through with the injury and accept the consequences.
“I had a choice for that. Jordan De Goey doesn’t have a choice,” he said.
“If he doesn’t have the surgery straight away he won’t be able to close his fingers properly for the rest of his career. You can’t wait until the end of the season and fix it up then.
“That happened (to me) halfway through a Round 1 game. So I had a choice, you can have 12 weeks on the sideline or you can play through.”
The sickening nature of Brown’s long-term injury was clearly confronting for Jones and Riewoldt.
“Bit of a no-brainer though Brownie. Give me the surgery. I don’t want to end up looking like that,” the St Kilda champion said.
Jones simply replied: “That is disgusting”
Brown had countless injuries during his 15-season career with the Lions — but the truth of his injured finger was not revealed at the time.
De Goey is expected to miss the rest of the regular season and could also miss some finals matches for Collingwood after the club announced he may not be back in action until October.
Earlier, Brown was calling the action for Fox Footy from a Melbourne studio as the Bulldogs moved into the top four for the first time this season with a tough win over the Suns.
Suns star Izak Rankine had a chance to tie the scores as the minutes ticked away late in the final quarter after taking a spectacular grab over the top of Bailey Williams — but missed his difficult shot from the pocket.
The Suns still had plenty of time to make up for the blemish, but the Dogs kept the Suns scoreless for the final five minutes.
The Suns set up camp in their forward half, but couldn’t find a target up top.
In a desperate final attacking raid in the final minute of the game the Suns had one last roll of the dice with a long kick into their forward fifty, but it was chopped off in a good pack mark by Marcus Bontempelli when no Suns player flew for the mark.
In the end the Dogs emerged with a 7.9 (51) to 6.10 (46) win — but they knew they’d been in a fight.
Rankine, in his third game, provided several highlight moments, but was left lamenting a wasteful 1.4 in front of goal.
The defeat cost the Suns a spot in the top four and will likely see them slip out of the top eight by the end of the round.