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PneumothoraxA pneumothorax can be considered as a collapsed lung. Although it is an uncommon football injury, it can occur from direct blows to the chest, particularly if a rib is fractured. Although they are a serious injury, if treated correctly, a player may return within 2-3 weeks.
There are some famous historical episodes of players continuing to play with collapsed lungs in football finals. Robert Dipierdomenico of Hawthorn suffered a collapsed lung early in the 1989 Grand Final but completed the game before his entire body collapsed. Andrew Johns of Newcastle suffered broken ribs and a collapsed lung in the 1997 ARL Preliminary Final, yet played in the Grand Final a week later and was instrumental in Newcastle's win. Brett Hodgson suffered a pneumothorax in game 2 of the 2002 State of Origin but returned to play in game 3 only three weeks later. In the 2003 NRL finals, Luke Priddis of Penrith suffered a punctured lung in hospital having a procedure performed on a rib cartilage injury in preparation for a game. In the 2003 AFL Grand Final, Nigel Lappin played with injections for a rib injury and suffered a punctured lung which was detected after the match.