North Melbourne's Michael Close ruled out for VFL season after concussion

OUT OF ACTION: North Melbourne's VFL co-captain Michael Close will miss the rest of the season due to a serious head injury. Picture: NORTH MEDIA
OUT OF ACTION: North Melbourne's VFL co-captain Michael Close will miss the rest of the season due to a serious head injury. Picture: NORTH MEDIA

HARROW’S Michael Close has been ruled out of the rest of North Melbourne’s VFL season after complications resulting from a heavy hit two weeks ago.

The Kangaroos co-captain was taken from the field after a heavy knock against Geelong on June 9 to be assessed my medical staff.

The 23-year-old was cleared to go home that afternoon before a decline in his health prompted him to be taken to hospital in Horsham.

“It would have been about thirteen-or-so hours after the game when I started vomiting," Close told North Media.

"I had a rough night and couldn't sleep. In the morning I knew something wasn’t right when I vomited again. It wasn't a good sign.

“I was taken to hospital in Horsham for CT scan.

"It showed a significant bleed on my brain which, I'll admit, did scare me. My mum is a nurse so she was fully aware of the seriousness of that too. I was a little bit in the dark with the seriousness of that but she was well aware.

"I felt fine after the game, that's why this all came as a shock."

The setback is the latest injury to have hurt Close’s chances of playing in the AFL after suffering injuries at Etihad Stadium during the 2015 season

Close was delisted by AFL club the Brisbane Lions at the end of last season after 27 games with the club before being picked up by North Melbourne’s VFL side.  

Despite this setback, Close told North Media he was still hoping to earn a spot on an AFL list again. 

Close cannot do any exercise for the next six weeks.

“Providing my next few scans show improvement, I'll be allowed to resume training with physical contact in January 2019,” he said. 

“I'll be doing everything by the book to ensure that I can return to full fitness and get back playing footy again.”

Close is the latest high profile footballer to be struck down with a serious concussion injury. 

Gold Coast player Kade Kolodjashnij and Western Bulldogs’ Liam Picken are both in the process of returning from concussion injuries that have long-term effects. 

At a regional level, Horsham’s Billy Carberry felt the full effects of a serious knock to the head against Ararat two weeks ago. Carberry was cleared but urged caution for footballers to take head knocks seriously.