K rock Football

Broadbent granted mental health leave

PORT Adelaide defender Matthew Broadbent has been granted indefinite leave from the AFL club to deal with his mental health.

No timeframe has been set for Broadbent’s return, with the club saying the 28-year-old’s health and wellbeing is the priority.

Broadbent missed almost two years of AFL action with a serious ankle injury before he made an emotional return in round eight this season.

The 165-game veteran averaged a career-high 22 disposals in his four games this season but it remains to be seen whether he will return to playing duties this year.

“At this point, the best option for his overall health is to step away from the game for a while,” Port football operations manager Chris Davies said.

“The club’s primary focus is on Matthew’s health and welfare and we will continue to provide him with the ongoing support he requires.”

“We can’t say at this point how long that will be but he will be given as long as he needs.

Broadbent joins a growing list of current and former AFL players who have needed to take time away from the game.

Four-time St Kilda best and fairest winner Jack Steven has just returned to the Saints after a mental health break – his second of the year.

Bulldogs premiership forward Tom Boyd retired earlier this season citing both mental and physical stresses.

Sydney star Lance Franklin took time away from the game in the past to deal with his own mental health challenges.

AFL players are now feeling more comfortable opening up about their mental health battles, with clubs putting more resources into helping players.

Port Adelaide (6-5) take on Fremantle in Perth on Saturday.

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© AAP 2019