Gardiner on Paddy McCartin: "We're certainly considering him. He's an option. We're a long way though from making a decision on that right now. He's one of a number of players we're looking at as a key forward option. There's certainly no commitment from the Swans at this stage."
— Dwayne's World (@DwaynesWorldSEN) November 26, 2020
McCartin left the Saints in 2019 without playing a game for the season to focus on his health due to ongoing concussion issues, all up, he has only played 35 career games since his debut in 2015.
The Saints have been adamant that their decision to overlook him is not based on his health, but more due to the list sizes.
In February this year, concussion experts gave the 24-year-old the green light to start training again in hopes for a second chance.
He told The Herald Sun that he believes he can make a successful return to the AFL.
“I feel really fit, I feel motivated and I feel like I am going to be fine,” he said.
“It has not been one of those things where I think I have to do it, I really want to do it… and that is all off the back of the medical clearance that I was given about 10 months ago.”
AFL researcher Alan Pearce said that the clubs need to be ultra-cautious when considering a player with such injury history as McCartin’s.
“Players like Shaun Smith have already told him he shouldn’t do it, I’m sure John Barnes would be the same. Barnesy has only just turned 50 and he has said his quality of life isn’t great,” he said.
“That could be 25 years away for Paddy but it comes around quickly. There is the short-term pain in not playing but the long-term gain in your brain health.”
AFL clubs will be able to add players such as McCartin in the next delisted free agent window in December or as a possible supplemental selection in January.