After experiencing the worst concussion of his AFL career, veteran Sydney defender Ted Richards has revealed he contemplated retirement.
The 33-year-old has been out for three weeks after suffering a concussion during the Swans’ win in May over Hawthorn.
While no stranger to the head injury, this was the first time the fullback had any symptoms, something that “rattled” the 33-year-old and prompted thoughts of walking away from AFL for good.
“I was just sitting at home by myself stewing on these things, with nothing to do but just think about everything,” he told RSN radio on Wednesday.
“For a while there, I did entertain the thought (of retirement).
“I’ve heard stories of players where symptoms last for months.
“I know if that was to be the situation, with the age that I am, I possibly may have played my last game.”
Swans coach John Longmire revealed Richards had come to him with his concerns about five or six days after being knocked out in a heavy landing at the MCG.
“I just told him to take a step back, and make sure you speak to the specialist,” Longmire said on Wednesday at training.
“When he spoke to the specialist, it put his mind at rest … it certainly made it a lot easier (to decide) to keep moving forward and keep playing.
“He’s really confident now – he trained last week, he’ll train this week and has been pulling up really well.”
Richards will play out the season with a helmet he’s no certainty of returning against Melbourne on Sunday at the SCG, with Longmire hinting he might take a cautious approach.
A decision on his inclusion will be made in the next 24 hours.
“He’s missed three weeks but he got injured in the first quarter so it’s almost four weeks of football,” Longmire said.
“It’s been a period he’s missed, so that will come into it as well.”
It’s been a demoralising start to the 2016 season for Richards, who had struggled with a calf injury in pre-season and fractured an eye socket early in the campaign.
His previous bout of concussion occurred last July when he was knocked out by Port Adelaide’s Jay Schulz in a sling tackle.