Footballer warned not to play the game

Wonthaggi Power’s playing coach Leigh McDonald is unlikely to play football again this season, according to doctors.

After suffering three concussions this year, doctors have advised the Gippsland League coach not to play football.

“It’s not a definite, but it’s not looking good for me playing again,” McDonald said.

“If we do make the finals I’ll be exhausting all avenues to try and come back, and I’m in the process of ongoing tests.”

In 2005, McDonald suffered a severe head injury while playing for Coburg in the Victorian Football League.

“I had bleeding on the brain after that and missed the rest of the season,” McDonald said.

“Since then, any slight knock to the head I’ve felt it a bit more.”

In 2008 McDonald wore a helmet when he took Churchill to a flag in the North Gippsland League, but has been told by his doctor a helmet would not aid his condition.”I’m seeing the Collingwood Football Club doctor and he said in my situation a helmet wouldn’t really help because your brain still gets bounced around,” McDonald said.

McDonald said the news was “pretty hard to take”, but he was trying to focus on the positives. “This is my fifth year as coach, and I’ve been putting in all my thought and time and effort into that,” he said.

“In the past, I didn’t have as much to offer, but I’ve really developed in that area which is a good thing.”

This week Wonthaggi takes on local rival Leongatha.