Darling to return to Eagles, ending vaccination hiatus

West Coast star Jack Darling is expected to return to the club to continue his career after meeting the conditions of the AFL’s vaccination policy.

The 29-year-old has not trained at the club since January 21, when the league’s deadline requiring him to have his first COVID-19 vaccination dose passed.

Jack Darling is set to return to the Eagles.Credit:Getty Images

The Eagles and the AFL have been working with him and his legal representatives since to reach a point where he would be able to play.

The club and the AFL are not expected to confirm whether Darling has been vaccinated with such medical information considered private unless parties agree for its release, however sources confirmed to The Age that he was on track to return.

The AFL rejected an attempted from Darling to get a medical exemption that would have allowed him to play without being vaccinated, a development that put his career in doubt.

He has a four-year deal in place which is expected to earn him close to $800,000 per year. If he had refused to adhere to the AFL’s vaccination policy it would have been likely that he went on the inactive list where he could earn just $28,000 a year while on that list.

The change follows Jed Anderson’s decision to return to North Melbourne last month meaning Carlton’s Liam Jones and Brisbane’s Cam Ellis-Yolmen are the only two AFL players to retire as a result of the vaccination mandate.

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