AFL legend Gary Ablett Sr has revealed a worrying diagnosis that he claims is related to head injuries suffered during his storied career.
Ablett, 61, is nicknamed “God” and is widely regarded as one of the best Australian football players of all time, and is regularly in conversation as the greatest ever.
But during a career which reaped 1031 goals, a Norm Smith Medal, three Coleman Medals, and four All-Australian jumpers, Ablett estimates he was concussed “eight or 10 times”.
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Now scans have revealed “significant structural and functional brain damage” in the sporting legend.
“I began getting headaches and pressure in the top of my skull around 2010, initially a few days a week,” Ablett told the Herald Sun.Herald Sun.
“It then led to depression, anxiety and extreme fatigue. Under the advice of doctors, I then had numerous scans to try and find the cause of headaches and skull pressure.
“From 2015 onwards, and almost every day, there were signs that things had changed, then about 12 months ago I started getting symptoms that alarmed me to the point where I contacted (my former manager) Peter (Jess), whom I’m aware has been a concussion advocate for a number of past players.”
It was Jess who helped organise a MEG scan at Swinburne Neuroimaging Facility in November, the results of which were grim.
Ablett is now seeing a psychiatrist monthly and has been prescribed new medication which is “helping reduce the headaches and improving my mood”.
The AFL is currently facing two class action lawsuits from former players who claim they have long-term health implications as a result of football-related concussions.
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