May 27, 2024

Collingwood defender Nathan Murphy has been given the green light to resume his AFL career after undergoing evaluation by the league’s concussion panel. Murphy, aged 24, suffered his latest concussion during Collingwood’s grand final triumph over the Brisbane Lions in September. Collingwood requested the AFL to assess the condition of the 57-game defender, highlighting his history of multiple concussions.

Following thorough examination and consultations with concussion specialists and the AFL’s expert concussion medical panel, Murphy has been granted permission to return to the AFL in 2024. Collingwood’s football boss, Graham Wright, emphasized the club’s commitment to Nathan’s health and well-being, acknowledging the careful consideration given to his medical history and recent concussion incident.

Nathan Murphy | AFL

Wright stated, “Nathan’s health and wellbeing remains our absolute priority. After suffering a concussion late in the first quarter of the grand final, the club, in collaboration with Nathan and his family, engaged with concussion specialists and the AFL’s expert concussion medical panel to assess a return to play. The conclusion of this process resulted in the expert concussion medical panel determining Nathan’s readiness to resume playing in the elite AFL competition.”

Collingwood emphasizes the paramount importance of the health and welfare of their athletes, ensuring that any instances of concussion are managed appropriately in adherence to the AFL’s current concussion guidelines.

In contrast, former Sydney and St Kilda player Paddy McCartin retired in August on the recommendation of the league’s concussion experts due to his extensive history of concussions. The 2014 No.1 draft pick had been delisted by the Saints in 2019 and had a brief comeback with the Swans that lasted only four rounds into a second season.

Murphy’s concussion in the grand final occurred just before quarter time when his head collided with Brisbane forward Lincoln McCarthy’s shoulder during a loose ball contest. Although Murphy ruled himself out for the majority of the game, he played a pivotal role in Collingwood’s premiership success, participating in 24 of 25 possible games throughout 2023, with his sole absence in round six under concussion protocols. This incident followed an earlier occurrence that resulted in a three-match ban for St Kilda forward Anthony Caminiti for striking.

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