Today’s Herald
Sun
ran an entertaining back page screamer, suggesting AFL star Angelo Lekkas
was contemplating a switch to soccer, training hard with Victorian Premier
League club South Melbourne.

The Hawthorn midfielder, who suffered a
stroke during a practice match against Fremantle in February last year, has
reportedly not missed a training session with the soccer team. He played as a
junior and is apparently a friend of one of the club’s directors, John
Anastasiadis.

There’s just one problem – the yarn also says that Lekkas is at loggerheads with Hawthorn, wanting a one million
dollar-plus payout as compensation for the stroke.

Lekkas’s manager, Jacques Khouri, went on
the front foot, saying: “The boy’s got 30% damage to his
brain and will be on medication for the rest of his life, and any further head
injuries could cause death. Brain injuries can be life threatening and
the brain doesn’t recover.”

Which raises a question, doesn’t it? We’re
not medical experts but if any further head injuries could kill Lekkas, then
how would playing soccer, where having the ball collide with your temple at
high speed is a routine part of the job, be good for him?

At the most basic level, either the
compensation case evidence or the soccer-switch angle doesn’t add up. Perhaps it’s no surprise then that in the
26th paragraph of the story, Khouri is quoted as dismissing
suggestions that Lekkas was aiming to play soccer for South Melbourne.

The Hun
just chose not to believe him.

Are there any brain medical experts in
Crikey’s audience who could shed some light on the likely impact of heading a
soccer ball on a stroke victim? Write to us at [email protected].

Peter Fray

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