St Kilda face an anxious wait for results of further testing after Paddy McCartin and Dylan Roberton suffered career-threatening health scares in the Saints’ pre-season win over the Western Bulldogs.
Roberton, who is on the comeback trail from a heart irregularity, complained of feeling unwell late in Sunday’s 14.9 (93) to 12.7 (79) win at Ballarat’s Mars Stadium.
McCartin, who wears a protective helmet, was concussed for the eighth time since 2014.
The 22-year-old was withdrawn from the second half after he backed into a pack in the dying minutes of the second quarter and was collected by teammate Ben Long.
“Paddy was concussed so he’ll be assessed as per normal … we’ll just wait and see from a symptoms point of view,” coach Alan Richardson said.
“I think we all know that Paddy has a little bit of history there, so we weren’t going to take any risks.
“He’s fine in there now (but) he’ll need a bit of time to clear his head.
“When he’s right, he’s right. We don’t know when that’ll be … it could be that he’s right by Tuesday or it could be that it takes a bit longer. Who knows?”
Richardson cautioned against lumping this concussion in with the previous seven, with doctors to assess the latest setback on its merits.
Roberton collapsed with a heart irregularity at GMHBA Stadium in last year’s round-four clash with Geelong.
The defender, who plays with an electronic device in his chest to monitor his heart’s activity, was taken from the field for immediate assessment by club doctors.
The medical staff then addressed the players in the rooms after the match to allay immediate concerns over Roberton’s wellbeing.
“Dylan was just a bit wonky at the end of the game,” Richardson said.
“He just felt a little bit off right at the end when the siren went so you can imagine, given what he’s been through, the doctors were pretty keen to get him in and analyse him and make sure that he’s ok.
“I’m not sure exactly where that will end up.
“He’s fine, he’s sitting up in there and having a bit of a laugh with his mates, but we’ll just have to wait and see how that goes.”
While the long-term heath of those players is paramount, Richardson must also concern himself with his side’s preparation for round one which has suffered several setbacks.
Jake Carlisle won’t be sighted, if at all, until the second half of the season after back surgery and Dan Hannebery is still working his way back from a hamstring injury.
Jack Steven stepped away from the club to deal with a mental health issue, but has returned to training and was in Ballarat to watch his teammates.
Richardson wouldn’t be drawn on his availability for round one but is buoyed by his return.