WONATHAGGI Power playing coach Leigh McDonald is unlikely to join his team on the field again this season according to doctors.
After two concussions already this season doctors have advised the coach to stick to the bench.
Thanks to the club’s connection with the Collingwood Football Club McDonald has been consulting with the AFL club’s doctor regarding the issue.
“The doctors and neurosurgeon have informed me that I should never be playing football again,” he said.
McDonald said that is hard news to take.
“At the moment it’s sort of hard to take ruling out playing football ever again,” he said.
“But for the position we’re (the club) in at the moment I’m not thinking about that.
“All I’m thinking about is how I can control our game and how we can improve as a football club, and what comes at the end of the year comes at the end of the year.
“If we are to play some good football and possibly finals I’d like to think that I wouldn’t be ruling playing out.”
The midfielder has undergone extensive testing so far including sight, balance, reaction and memory tests as well as MRIs and a CT scan.
“My tests are ongoing at the moment and will be for another two or three weeks,” McDonald said.
“I’m not ruling out ever playing again but for the moment it’s not really an option until all my tests are done.”
This situation is not unfamiliar to McDonald after being told he couldn’t play after a serious head injury in 2004.
“I was told in 2004 not to play for a while after I had a big hit while with Coburg in the VFL and I missed the rest of that season because I had a bleed on the brain,” he said.
“Back then I was a bit younger and didn’t have kids and stuff so I sort of played, but there are more risks involved this time and I’ve got to be a little bit smarter about it now because of my wife and two kids.”
The Power coach said it was a shock but being sidelined has helped him concentrate on his coaching.
“Being the coach I’ve got to be doing all I can to worry about them now rather than me scone,” McDonald said.
“I can now put all of my energy in to coaching, making sure that our structures are right and that I can do that from the bench.
“When I’m playing, realistically in the game I don’t have any involvement in the coaching, I palm it off, but now I’ve got a hands-on approach and I’m enjoying it.”
The Power went down to Leongatha over the weekend but are looking to redeem themselves against Bairnsdale this Saturday.
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