Paddy McCartin and partner Lucy Brownless have opened up about the “hardest eight months” of their lives as they continue to deal with McCartin’s ongoing concussion struggle.
On Monday, St Kilda announced they had delisted McCartin in a mutual decision aimed at allowing the 23-year-old to focus on his recovery.
The 2014 No.1 draft pick suffered his most recent concussion - his eighth - in the pre-season for the 2019 campaign and has not featured at any level of football since.
On Tuesday McCartin revealed he’d been diagnosed with a convergence spasm and struggles to go outside because of the bright light.
When he does go outside of his house, he’s not allowed to drive.
But he remains optimistic that he can return to full health and play at the highest level again, after receiving positive news from recent test results.
"I got a bit of a different opinion and I learned that I can potentially play again," he told SEN Radio on Tuesday.
"There were a lot of times where I was like 'stuff this, I can't go through this again because it's been so difficult'.
"But when I went in there on Friday (to get test results) they gave me the confidence that it can correct itself."
When asked how his family feel about his worrying series of head injuries, McCartin revealed that they are pleased to see him with a smile on his face again.
"They're really happy that I'm feeling OK in myself right now, because there were times I was struggling just to get up," he said.
Brownless revealed the toll it has taken on their relationship, struggling to hold back tears.
“It’s been a journey this year, to say the least. It’s something I get quite emotional about,” Brownless said.
“It’s been really tough, really hard to hear. We’ve been through a lot, Paddy’s been through a lot.
“The last eight months have been absolutely the hardest eight months Paddy’s been through, we’ve been through as a couple.
“I’m just so proud of him how he’s dealt with it, his strength and resilience through all of this and really staying as positive as he can be. He’s been amazing.”
McCartin hoping for return to Saints
The Saints haven't closed the door on McCartin returning to their list for the 2021 season and that appears to be his preferred option, although he will have the option of joining another club as a delisted free agent.
"They've been great... They haven't been through anything like this before either," McCartin said of St Kilda.
"I'll work out what this rehabilitation... looks like and hopefully I can tie it in with being at the club and seeing the boys.
"Then all going to plan, (I'll) potentially get back on the list next year."
with Yahoo Sport Australia