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McVeigh Retires and Bennell Surgery

McVeigh Goals in Game 300

Sydney stalwart Jarrad McVeigh has announced he would retire at the end of the season. McVeigh, 34, has played just five games this season due to quad, hamstring, and calf injuries. His last AFL game was Round 12. He was on the comeback trail through the NEAFL but strained a calf. He is still hopeful of a final farewell game in Round 23. McVeigh also thought of playing on in 2020, but the latest setback told him otherwise.

McVeigh was drafted in 2002 and has been a key to the team's recent success of 15 finals series and five Grand Finals. His 324 games is just one shy of former teammate Jude Bolton (323) and he is just one of four Swans to play 300 games, the others being Adam Goodes (372) and Michael O'Loughlin (303). And he will go down as one of the most decorated and influential players in the club's history.

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Wright Retires and Shaw Confirmed

Sam Wright Marks

Veteran defender Sam Wright, 29, announced his retirement ahead of Round 20. Wright was drafted in 2008 as a small forward (the same year as Jack Ziebell), but transformed himself into a dynamic and skilled defender who could stand up in big games. He played a total of 136 games but has not played since May due to ongoing ankle issues. He was sidelined for 701 days from 2016 to 2018 due to surgeries on both ankles as well as a stress problem in his foot. He has struggled this year also with ankle problems and told teammates the toll it had taken on him would not allow him to get back to AFL level. He played his final game in the VFL in Round 20

In making the announcement, Wright said, “I guess the decision’s been coming for a long time ... After the last surgery, I probably knew that I wasn’t going to go around next year, and the advice I’d be given was that I probably need to start focusing on life after footy and living a healthy life ... I wanted to get out and play one more game, but it’s just become pretty evident ... that my body just won’t allow me to do that. I can’t train and I can’t play at a high enough level ... Pulling on the jumper, whether it be at VFL or AFL level ... has always been something I’ve been really proud of.

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Concussion Claims Koby

Koby Stevens Smothers Dal Santo Kick

Just after the conclusion of Round 18, St Kilda's Koby Stevens announced his retirement due to ongoing concussion issues. Stevens, 27, suffered a concussion - the eighth of his career - in Round One this year. He was still suffering delayed symptoms but did not inform the medical staff and played in Round Two. It wasn't until the lead up to Round Three that he finally went to the medical staff. The way he put it, "I'd just come back into the side, so I obviously didn't want to speak up and we had a pretty big game ... against North Melbourne and

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Vertigo Grounds Crow and Docker News

Curly Hampton

Adelaide midfielder Curly Hampton has been forced to retire due to vertigo. Hampton, 25, also said all the setbacks he has had over the past eight years caused him to lose his passion for playing. When announcing his decision, he went on to say, "The past few weeks have been particularly hard ... At times, it has been difficult to train and play but it has also affected my life away from football ...  I am confident of making a full recovery but I feel it is best to do that away from the pressures of the AFL industry. This is a good opportunity to focus on the other priorities in my life ... ". He suffered ankle and shoulder injuries in 2014 and a foot injury in 2016. 

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Naitanui Out for a Year and Other Injury News

Naitanui with Willie Rioli

The West Coast Eagles have confirmed that Nic Naitanui has a torn the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) on his right knee. His left knee was reconstructed in late 2016 and kept Naitanui out of the competition for all of 2017. American specialist Bill Knowles, who assisted Naitanui with his recovery in Philadelphia last July, has suggested that this second reconstruction could require a longer recovery period. It is expected that Naitanui will undergo reconstruction surgery as soon as the initial swelling subsides. He will miss the rest of this year and most of the 2019 season. The twenty-eight year old has played 160 games for West Coast; he will be nearly 30 when he returns to the game.

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Tiger Shaun Hampson Retires

Hampson and Riewoldt After a Goal

Richmond ruckman Shaun Hampson has announced his retirement from AFL football, effective immediately. Hampson, 30, has not played a senior game in two seasons due to a chronic back condition. Although both he and the club's medical staff have worked hard to alleviate the condition, but it has not been successful, and Hampson decided to call it quits as he considered his long-term hearth and his family more important than getting out and playing footy again.

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Lance Franklin Out Indefinitely

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Shortly after Round 23 concluded, the Swans announced that Lance Franklin was suffering from, and being treated for, an undisclosed mental health issue.

It was also reported that Franklin had suffered a minor epileptic seizure at a cafe on the Friday morning before Sydney's match against Gold Coast. He was taken to a hospital, treated and released. Although hospital doctors recommended he not play that weekend, Sydney's medical staff cleared him to play.

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Concussion Claims Kangaroo Adams

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Just as Round 19 was underway, and amid the Adam Goodes controversy, Kangaroo player Leigh Adams quietly announced his retirement from football. Adams, nicknamed "Patch", has suffered a few head knocks and concussions over the course of his career and consulted North Melbourne medical staff as well as several specialists before making his decision. Adams, 27, took the medical advice and decided his health must take priority.

Adams, who was known for his fierce attack on the ball and a willingness to throw himself into contests, suffered a concussion late in 2014 and missed that Finals series.

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Injuries Claim Players from Cats and Kangaroos

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

An ankle injury he has been unable to overcome has forced Cats' ruckman Hamish McIntosh to retire, effective immediately. He will undergo surgery soon and admitted the days leading to his announcement had been a bit emotional and that his decision was sad. McIntosh said "It's sad ... I've been a bit of a mess ... it's been an amazing journey ... for 13 years for ... North Melbourne and here. It's been a ball, it's been so much fun ... ".

McIntosh, 30, was originally drafted by North Melbourne in 2002 but was hampered by injuries in his first two seasons. He finally made his debut early in 2005.

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Eagles Confirm Finals Credentials With Win Over Collingwood

Rick Browner reporting for AFANA from Perth

Even if you remember these events from 2003 - the space shuttle Columbia disintegrating on its return to Earth, Andre Agassi winning the Australian Open in tennis and Netscape being taken down for Mozilla - you will be forgiven if you don’t remember that 2003 was the last time that the West Coast Eagles defeated the Collingwood Magpies in Melbourne.
Gaff Held Up
2003 was a very long time ago in football terms and the Magpies may have expected the trend to continue as second placed Eagles traveled to Etihad Stadium in Round 16. All things must pass and so it was with the hoodoo when - despite horrific shooting on goals - the Eagles ran over top of the cooling Pies.
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