St Kilda face a difficult decision on the immediate playing future of young AFL star Paddy McCartin after he suffered his third concussion this season.
McCartin, 20, arrived back in Melbourne with the Saints on Saturday night after their road woes continued with a heavy loss to Gold Coast.
The former No.1 draft pick faces an uncertain future after he suffered a concussion in a collision with teammate Tim Membrey in the first quarter at Metricon Stadium.
He was also concussed in round three and round 11 and has now suffered five concussions in the past two seasons, with his latest setback leading to speculation he may be set for an extended break from the game.
“It will be up to the doctors … they’ll do everything necessary to make sure that he’s either right to play or not,” coach Alan Richardson said after the match.
“It’s hard to speculate (on his future) because I don’t really know.”
St Kilda are likely to take a conservative approach with their star of the future, who also suffers from type 1 diabetes.
In other injury news, Carlton confirmed Irish rookie Ciaran Byrne had suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and will require a complete reconstruction.
“Long-term injuries are always disappointing, particularly as Ciaran was having a really solid season so far,” Blues football chief Andrew McKay said.
“He will undergo surgery in the coming weeks and will commence his rehabilitation process not long after that.
“Ciaran is a resilient young man and will have the club’s full support throughout this process.”
Players typically miss between 10 and 12 months after they undergo a traditional knee reconstruction.