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The Roar


Conor McKenna now negative to COVID-19, John Worsfold to address the media today

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23rd June, 2020

Essendon coach John Worsfold will on Wednesday speak about the bizarre Conor McKenna saga, which had threatened to derail the Bombers’ AFL season.

Essendon coach John Worsfold is due to address the mysterious situation surrounding defender Conor McKenna’s conflicting COVID-19 test results.

Late on Tuesday evening, the Bombers confirmed the defender returned a negative result to his COVID-19 swab test.

But tests taken by McKenna last Friday and Saturday had still shown up a positive result.

It is another strange chapter to a saga which had threatened to derail the AFL season when McKenna had tested positive over the weekend.

Worsfold will speak to the media for the first time since the incident unfolded, talking to reporters via at Zoom call about midday.

Essendon’s match against Melbourne at the MCG on Sunday was postponed when McKenna tested positive a day earlier for coronavirus.

There were fears several key defenders, including Adam Saad, Cale Hooker and Michael Hurley, would be forced to quarantine after taking part in a weights session with the Irishman.

But a Department of Health and Human Services investigation found fringe forward James Stewart was the only unlucky player deemed to have been in close contact with McKenna.


It is expected Essendon will push for Stewart to be exempt from a full 14-day self-isolation period because of McKenna’s mixed test results.

Stewart, along with the entire Essendon playing group, returned a negative result after all squad members were tested on Monday.

The Bombers provided details of player movements, footage of Friday’s training session, the floor plan of their Tullamarine headquarters and physical distancing measures in place to help the DHHS determine only Stewart needed to quarantine.

Players and staff will return to the club, closed for deep cleaning, on Wednesday to prepare for Saturday night’s round-four encounter with Carlton at the MCG.

There had been speculation the match against Melbourne would be rescheduled to Wednesday night but the league quickly ruled out that possibility.