, Nick Holman thought he was winded from a hit to the stomach in round 18. Nine days later, he left hospital nine kilograms lighter after suffering a perforated bowel.
"After the game, I was talking to the doc and about 10 minutes later I was feeling shocking. I started feeling really crook, got hot and sweaty and had to lie on the ground," Holman said.
Arriving at nearby Pindara Hospital 24 hours after Richmond, Holman was put through a series of tests as doctors struggled to identify the problem.
"Lucky mum and dad were there, they were with me the whole time, which was comforting because it was scary. I'd never experienced anything like that. I woke up Sunday morning and I was all drugged up and had a big scar down my guts and a few staples," Holman said.
The 26-year-old could only consume ice for the next four days, with a tube running from his nose through his body. On day five he moved to liquids and day seven to solid foods.
"When the doc was talking to me at the start, I didn't realise how serious it was. I thought I could come back for the end of the season. He ruled that out and said it was pretty serious. He said this kind of injury happens to people when they're in a car crash, that's what it's equivalent to. The damage a seat belt can do," Holman said.