North Melbourne has had a disappointing 2015 on the field so far, but no Kangaroo has suffered more than hard-nosed midfielder Leigh Adams – who suffered yet another concussion while playing for Werribee in the VFL on Sunday.
As part of a feature that aired on Channel 7’s Saturday Night Footy coverage less than 24 hours before the 27-year-old’s latest head-knock, Adams outlined the toll his concussions had taken on his mental health.
“I had three or four [concussions] last year,” Adams said.
“The last NAB Cup game [this year], I went back to Werribee to get a full game in and got clipped by our ruckman, Dan Currie. Over the next couple of weeks it wasn’t getting any better – headaches, short-term memory loss, feeling agitated and really lethargic.
“I started reading a lot of stuff about CTE [Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy] and all the stuff with the gridiron players. That’s probably what got me worried – the long-term effect.”
With the potential long-term implications weighing on his mind, Adams found himself in a dark place.
“It’s really common – one in two people who get concussion will get depression, and I got it pretty bad there for three or four weeks. It didn’t matter what happened, I just felt like the world was against me.
“[I thought,] Poor me… Nah, I don’t want to play anymore. I’ve had enough. I’m just sick of getting knocked around.
“I did need 6-8 weeks to make a clear decision and say this is what I want to do.”
Just when it looked as though the 104-gamer’s luck was about to change – stand-in coach Darren Crocker said Adams had got his “cheekiness” back, was “playing like an AFL player at VFL level” and looked ready to “push for senior selection very shortly” – Adams suffered another setback. It’s unclear when he’ll play again.
If there’s a positive in Adams’s predicament, it’s that his footy career has been put into perspective.
“If I play a poor game and we get beaten by 70 points, the sun still comes up the next day.”
Cunnington: We support Leigh Adams' decision, whatever it may be. Important thing is his health #NMFCMedia
— North Melbourne (@NMFCOfficial) June 16, 2015
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