Essendon coach John Worsfold says he is uncertain whether quarantined defender Conor McKenna actually has COVID-19, but maintains his confidence in the strict testing regimes in place for AFL clubs.
- Essendon is confused whether Conor McKenna has coronavirus after he returned positive and negative results
- McKenna is still being treated as a positive case by the Department of Health and Human Services
- His teammate James Stewart was forced into quarantine
McKenna tested negative to the coronavirus several times before an irregular result last Friday led him to being re-tested on Saturday, with that result coming back positive.
He has since been in quarantine and returned a negative test, which was confirmed on Tuesday night.
Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton confirmed McKenna is still being treated as a positive case.
Worsfold said it was unclear whether Essendon would attempt to get McKenna out of quarantine following the latest negative test.
He said he was unsure if McKenna had contracted the virus.
“There’s some doubt in my mind,” Worsfold said this morning.
“I don’t know if there’s doubt in other people’s minds but we’re waiting to find out exactly what it (the latest negative result) means.
“He’s had a positive test with some negatives around that, so from my own personal point of view … I couldn’t say he definitely has (the virus) or he definitely hasn’t.”
Professor Sutton said it was not uncommon for a negative test to be recorded after a positive finding.
“There are lots of people who test positive one day, they’re at the very tail-end of their infection and then they test negative the following day,” he said.
“If you get two negative tests 24 hours apart, you as a case are clear.”
A Department of Health and Human Services investigation found Bombers teammate James Stewart was a “close contact” of McKenna, forcing the fringe forward into quarantine.
The decision on Stewart being the only extra player required to self-isolate was a relief to the Bombers amid fears at one point their entire backline might be put out of action.
Professor Sutton said McKenna’s close contacts still had to go through the 14-day quarantine period.
“Your close contacts are contacts when you were potentially infectious,” he said.
The Bombers are trying to refocus on Saturday night’s match against Carlton after last Sunday’s fixture with Melbourne was postponed indefinitely following the news McKenna had returned a positive test.
Worsfold said he was confident the build-up to the Blues encounter would be relatively “normal” for the unbeaten Bombers (2-0).
“We have to deal with what’s in front of us and we know this is just a weird season, so this has not thrown the players out too much because they’ve been through a lot over the last 12 weeks,” he said.
“We want to get out there and train really well tomorrow to keep building on the game plan that we’ve been working on over the whole summer and leading into this season.
“We’ve only played it twice and we’ve got a lot of improvement to go.”