Conor McKenna’s future at AFL club Essendon has been thrown into question after he reportedly broke quarantine restrictions before
The test recorded by Tyrone man, who is asymptomatic and is not suffering ill health, prompted the AFL to postpone the Essendon-Melbourne game, which was to take place on Sunday.
The Herald Sun newspaper have claimed McKenna, the first player to record a positive Covid-19 test since the AFL season returned the week before last, attended an open house viewing and also visited family and friends.
A lengthy suspension is expected to be handed down to the 24-year-old, who was granted leave to return home before this season and again during the lockdown before self-isolating for two weeks.
Given that the game has to be postponed as a result of the discipline breach and could have further repercussions for the season, deregistering has also been mentioned but that has been ruled out by Australian Rules media. This was the second breach for Essendon after McKenna’s team-mate Brandon Zerk-Thatcher was suspended for a match although he self-reported the matter.
As well as the postponement of the game, Essendon players and management have all been asked to isolate. That could extend to 14 days in which time the Bombers have two more fixtures. McKenna trained with seven players on Friday.
“All players and staff have been asked to isolate,” AFL chief executive Gill McLachlan said in a hastily-scheduled press conference on Saturday. “We said we would make all decisions based on medical advice and our priority is the health and safety of our staff, players and the community.
“The club will be closed and cleaned. We will test all players and staff in the coming days, with advice from the health department. Our concern is with the player and we will provide support around him.”