Nathan Murphy.
Nathan Murphy is taking his time before returning for the Pies due to ongoing concussion concerns. Image by James Ross/AAP PHOTOS
  • Australian rules football

Magpies’ Murphy to sit out of AFL games indefinitely

Oliver Caffrey February 14, 2024

Collingwood defender Nathan Murphy is not contemplating retirement despite remaining on a modified training program indefinitely due to ongoing issues surrounding concussion.

The 24-year-old insisted he has not suffered a fresh setback but said he was not in the “right frame of mind” to take part in match simulation sessions.

Collingwood are not putting a timeline on Murphy’s slated return to play.

“It was a pretty whirlwind off-season for me,” Murphy said of suffering a serious concussion in last year’s grand final win.

“I’m still really healthy; still participating in a lot of stuff.

“I’m not really contemplating retirement. That’s not really on my agenda.

“I’m just trying to focus on getting back out there to play football.”

The premiership player was examined by the league’s concussion panel and was ultimately given the green light last December to resume playing.

Lincoln McCarthy and Nathan Murphy.
 Magpie Nathan Murphy’s grand final was ended after this collision with the Lions’ Lincoln McCarthy. Image by Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS 

Collingwood had asked the AFL to assess the 57-gamer’s condition, noting he had suffered multiple concussions prior, and after, starting his AFL career.

“I had a really good assessment with the panel and they’re professionals in this area so I trust their opinion,” Murphy said.

“I know I’m in a really good spot, it’s just probably more of a frame of mind sort of decision at the moment.

“It’s just making sure I’m ready to approach the season and ready to play competitive football.”

Murphy sent a scare through the Collingwood camp when he was assessed at training following a strong tackle from Magpies superstar Nick Daicos.

He was immediately cleared by medical staff and there were no further issues from the incident.

“It was good to see Nick laying a tackle for once, that doesn’t matter too much,” Murphy joked.

“But I actually responded really positively to that.

“I think in the footage I actually get back out there and train so that incident had nothing to do with any of this.”

Collingwood football boss Graham Wright, who is about to embark on a six-month sabbatical, completely supported Murphy’s decision.

“We’ve been in discussions over the last couple of weeks,” Wright said.

“Nathan’s healthy, feels really good.

“But from a mental wellbeing place, he’s made a decision to withdraw himself from the match-sim part of training and games until further notice.”