Bombers big man Shaun McKernan has spoken out about his coronavirus scare that caused him to miss the club’s round one win over Fremantle, which turned out to be pneumonia.
Community transmission levels of the virus peaked around round one with the government’s lockdown measures yet to take effect.
The 29-year-old said he undertook two COVID-19 tests after being ruled out of the match.
“It was a bit worrying at the start because they weren’t sure exactly what I had and then I got tested twice at that stage so it was a little bit scary,” he told AFL Media on Tuesday.
“I thought I might’ve had it, but they ended up figuring out it was pneumonia.
“It was pretty scary at that point because that was the height of it and people were running around a bit scared about it all but the doctors handled it pretty well.”
McKernan also revealed he spent the first weeks after the suspension of the AFL season away from the club while recovering from the illness.
“It was a bit of a shock, I didn’t know how I’d gotten it or where I’d gotten it from. That was the question I kept asking the docs and they said it was a bug you could pick up anywhere,” he said.
“It did knock me around for a bit. It probably took me a good one or two weeks after round one to get back into full running and my weights stuff again.
“But the doctors were fantastic with it all and got me back to full health.”
Essendon will enter next Sunday’s clash with Sydney with McKernan as the main tall marking option up forward with injury-plagued star Joe Daniher already ruled out with a groin injury.
“Joe’s been in and out for the last couple of years and at times I’ve had to take on that role,” he said.
“It’s something that I welcome and something I get excited by. I like performing for my teammates and I know it helps us win games of footy so to me it’s just business as usual.”