The Melbourne Football Club has confirmed that star forward Liam Jurrah is currently behind bars in a Northern Territory prison.
While there are currently very few details available, it has been reported that police northwest of Alice Springs were called around midnight Wednesday to a nearby town camp due to a disturbance. Upon arrival they found a man with serious head injuries said to have been caused by a machete.
Jurrah, 23, and another man, also 23, were confirmed by the club to be in police custody.
Jurrah was granted permission to leave the club just three days ago to attend to a personal matters relating to his family. Melbourne’s leading goal kicker in 2011 (40 from 18 games) is an elder of the Warlpiri people, who are based around 300km northwest of Alice Springs.
The ABC is reporting that his community has been divided by a hostile, and at times a “bloody” feud, between two families.
In other AFL news, Fremantle is playing it cool on the status of dominant ruckman Aaron Sandilands who was left out of last week’s round two NAB Cup pre-season game against Richmond because of tightness in his calf.
Coach Ross Lyon told the media that he was confident Sandilands would be 100% fit for round one, which is just three weeks away.
Sandilands missed a huge chunk of 2011 with various leg injuries and his absence took a toll on an already depleted Fremantle midfield.
Small livewire Hayden Ballantyne will also be left out of this week’s side to play against Port Adelaide because of a minor ankle injury sustained before the Richmond match. He played the game resultingin a slight amount of swelling around the ankle, but will be fit to play the following week.
Fremantle will benefit from the return of star former All-Australian captain Matthew Pavlich.