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Why some AFL players will ‘inevitably’ never be the same after COVID-19

Neil Mitchell
Article image for Why some AFL players will ‘inevitably’ never be the same after COVID-19

The AFL’s most prominent medical authority says it is “inevitable” some players may never be the same after contracting COVID-19.

Neil Mitchell was stunned by a report that some 50 per cent of the league’s players had already contracted coronavirus.

He asked Dr Peter Larkins about the potential for the virus to have long-term impacts on players.

“There will be varying degrees of response amongst athletes with it,” Dr Larkins said on 3AW.

“Even a five per cent reduction of lung capacity, what’s called oxygen capacity, in an aerobic, elite athlete … that changes them from being an elite athlete to an also ran.”

While fit and healthy young people have greater immunity than most to the impacts of the virus, Dr Larkins said “long COVID” was still a serious concern, just like it was for those in the community.

“It’s already happening in some of the players I am aware of,” he said.

Press PLAY below to hear Dr Larkins explain more on 3AW

Picture: Getty iStock

Neil Mitchell
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