Speculation on McCartin’s career unhealthy for his recovery: Longmire

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The Swans aren’t putting a timeframe on Paddy McCartin’s return to football, as coach John Longmire asks for the speculation to end on whether the key position player will ever play again.

McCartin suffered an innocuous head knock in Saturday night’s loss to Port Adelaide and was subbed out with his second concussion in the past 12 months, following on from the eight concussions he suffered during his time at St Kilda.

Paddy McCartin receives attention from a trainer after suffering another concussion.Credit: Getty Images

McCartin has spoken openly about the impact those concussions had on his life away from football, but his return to the game and his form throughout Sydney’s 2022 run towards a grand final was one of the stories of the year.

Longmire said the Swans would put all their energy into McCartin’s recovery.

“He’s in the club today. He’s feeling pretty well,” Longmire said.

“He’s still got some symptoms, but he’s generally feeling OK. At the moment, he’s just resting and recovering.

“We haven’t had those discussions [about his future] and that advice at the moment is just to focus on his recovery. That’s the most important thing for him, to be putting his energy into right here and now.”

Longmire said calls to end McCartin’s career were premature.

“To go thinking any further than that is a bit of a step too far,” he said.

“The focus of everyone at the football club, his family and Paddy, is just to make sure he recovers and starts feeling well as soon as he can.

“Obviously people want answers of black and white, give us a time frame or give us this or give us that. The advice we’ve received is very clear – just focus Paddy and everyone around him on his recovery.”

Both Tom and Paddy McCartin were concussed in Saturday night’s loss to Port Adelaide.Credit: Getty Images

Longmire admitted there was genuine concern during Saturday night’s game at how innocuous the contact was that caused McCartin’s concussion. But he reiterated the team of experts who have been involved in McCartin’s return to football would guide him on his next steps.

“The starting point was [that] during the game absolutely I was concerned,” Longmire said.

“But we need to understand Paddy is a key part of this and his family. There is an expert team involved that have been involved all the way along the past three years and will continue to be involved with Paddy that will give us the specialist advice.

“Hopefully, there’s not too much speculation on the what ifs because that’s not healthy for him either. The most important thing, and best thing, for Paddy is to focus on his recovery and not get too carried away about the what ifs.”

McCartin’s younger brother Tom was also subbed out on Saturday night with a concussion, and Longmire said he was unlikely to have any other tall defenders at his disposal to come into the team for this weekend’s meeting with Richmond in Adelaide.

“We’re still working through [what our backline will look like],” he said.

“Unfortunately, Aaron Francis and Will Gould didn’t finish the training session we had on the weekend, so [it’s] not great timing from that perspective. But we’re still working through what it looks like, the availability of our players.

“We give an opportunity to [midfielder] Corey Warner this week, who will play his first game of AFL footy, so that’s exciting for him, to get a taste and run out there with his brother Chad.

“His running capacity has always been at a really high level. He’s got a great mix of speed and endurance. He’s got bigger and stronger over the summer, that was really noticeable when he came back. He’s been playing a number of weeks at our VFL level and been consistent, and running hard – that two-way running we like our players to do.”

With Tom Lynch out of the Tigers’ side due to injury, Longmire believed the Swans could cover Richmond’s talls with the defenders who played against Port Adelaide.

“Obviously, Tom Lynch is out, and we’re not sure what Richmond will do,” he said.

“We feel like we’ve got some flexibility with guys that can play on taller players. Nick Blakey is one who has got some real height about him, so he can play on some taller players if required.”

Meanwhile, Longmire said Oliver Florent required no consolation following his after-the-siren shot at goal which didn’t make the distance.

“He’s been fine,” he said.

“His game was absolutely outstanding last week, he was fantastic. Unfortunately, the ball dropped a bit short on him last week, [it’s] as simple as that. He’s been fine.”

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