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Melbourne defender Adam Tomlinson needed to be assisted off the ground by trainers early in the clash against North Melbourne.

The defender injured his knee in a marking contest and immediately called for trainers.

He was unable to put pressure on his leg and was taken into the change rooms.

The Demons activated medical-sub Nathan Jones to replace Tomlinson for the rest of the game.

Tomlinson returned to the bench in tears late in the first quarter.