Only a day after their MCG Premiership celebration, worrying scenes occurred at Melbourne's training session, with defender Jake Lever collapsing on the field. @ayrtonwoolley #9News pic.twitter.com/VFJjId9MeG
— 9News Melbourne (@9NewsMelb) December 6, 2021
Melbourne’s premiership hero Jake Lever certainly can’t be accused of resting on his laurels.
On his first day back at training the Demons defensive gun pushed himself to the limit, fainting during a running session in hot and humid conditions at Casey Fields.
Medical staff surrounded Lever for 15 minutes as he sat on the far side of the ground.
He was responsive to questions from the club doctor and eventually got to his feet, walking unassisted to the change rooms.
A club spokesman said Lever had simply “gone too hard too early”.
Coach Simon Goodwin and head of football Alan Richardson both checked on the defender before he was sent home to rest.
First we can certainly rule out “Post Pandemic Stress Disorder“:
Up to 300,000 people in the UK facing heart-related illnesses due to post-pandemic stress disorder, warn physicians
Since Lever’s team Melbourne had a merry 2020 and won the premiership for the first time since 1964, and made all their upper crust supporters jolly happy I say what!
Obviously it’s the first day back at training, and it was warm, 28, and that’s warm enough if you’re running around like a madman, and some players don’t do runs in the break and come back a bit out of shape (looking at you Taylor Walker, fat beer and chips gut guy), though Lever, 25, looks fairly lean as usual. He didn’t clutch at where his heart his, which is a reflexive thing to do if heart trouble.
But it is going to be something to watch, considering what is happening in Europe (but not in US sport it seems (maybe because the players’ doctors are flexible and creative with the vax certificates)), and given that AFL players run an average 14 kilometres during games at a pace of average 10km/h, with bursts of around 18km/h, of cumulative duration five minutes per game.
Also the women, and this will be the only (yes morbid) reason to think at all about women’s football next year – the myocarditis/pericarditis problems that are obviously vaccine related are mainly happening to young men (a Hong Kong study suggests it’s about 1 in 3000 (so far, there’ll be boosting!)), not women, but this may be because women are less physically very active in general, but on the football field, even if the games are shorter length, they are going flat out, in a rather ungainly, comical way, – there are some real wide spaces on an oval field and you’ve got to get to them, – but they’re trying (semi-related, one reason the women suffer more injuries in-game than men is that many of them are clearly trying to prove that they can play the game just like men, and they go in hard, bash into each other, with the worst case being some big butch lesbian cannoning into some slightly built normal girl who didn’t see it coming, or too late to brace).
Looking at Google News Archives for similar stories there’s not that much :
- St Kilda’s Dylan Roberton retires from AFL ahead of 2021 season as he puts ‘family and future first’. This man collapsed several times on the field 2018-19 due to a diagnosed heart irregularity
- Dylan Brown tells the story of how he fainted during pre-season. NRL player in 2019, though he says just “almost fainted”, got dizzy after a long run, and was dehydrated.
- Footballer dies in on-field incident near Colac. 2015. Amateur 24 year old player, collapsed and began convulsing, not clear why
So it can happen of course, but we’ll see, grimly or not.