‘There wasn’t a lot of contact… not as much as he made it look!’
Essendon are expecting to learn on Tuesday the immediate future of their playing list following Conor McKenna’s positive COVID-19 test.
The AFL was thrown into chaos on Saturday after the Bombers defender’s positive coronavirus test, postponing Essendon’s Sunday clash with Melbourne.
Essendon’s entire playing list was tested at Marvel Stadium on Monday.
Health authorities are also determining who was in close contact with McKenna, and those who were will be forced to quarantine for 14 days.
They are examining training footage given to them by Essendon to decide what players will need to join McKenna in isolating.
Essendon’s first-choice back-line could be ruled out for at least two weeks, with Adam Saad, Cale Hooker, Michael Hurley, Matt Guelfi, Jordan Ridley and Mason Redman reportedly in McKenna’s training group.
Full-contact training has since been banned at all clubs by the AFL in response to McKenna’s test result and with COVID-19 cases continuing to increase at concerning levels in Victoria.
Clubs will be permitted to continue contact training in groups of up to nine, and larger groups can still conduct ball movement drills without contact.
The AFL is pushing for Essendon’s Saturday nigh clash with Carlton to go ahead as long as the Bombers have 25 available players.
But Essendon are hoping for leniency if a large chunk of their best-22 are forced out of the match because they came into contact with McKenna.
St Kilda coach Brett Ratten said the AFL had a duty to keep the season going despite Essendon’s tricky predicament.
“It’s a disadvantage for Essendon, but we can’t stop the games, need to keep them going,” he told Fox Footy.
“For the Bombers it might not be perfect, but they might find themselves one, two, or three players out of that game and that might help them in the future.”