Melbourne star Clayton Oliver has not returned to AFL preseason training with his teammates and is instead taking extended leave as he deals with personal issues.
Clayton Oliver left Melbourne’s December training camp in Lorne early to deal with medical issues
Melbourne says it “fully supports Clayton taking this important time out” to deal with personal issues
Oliver will face court on February 6 after he was charged with driving with a suspended licence
Four-time club best-and-fairest winner Oliver has battled injuries and medical issues in recent months and has faced questions over his off-field behaviour.
Oliver left Melbourne’s December training camp in Lorne early to deal with medical issues and when his teammates returned to training at Casey Fields on Thursday, he did not join them.
“Clayton has personal issues that he has been dealing with,” football boss Alan Richardson said in a statement.
“Clayton has been working extremely closely with his personal medical team, and with the support of key club staff, in order to manage these challenges.
“The club fully supports Clayton taking this important time out, which will allow him to focus on these challenges.
“Our primary focus is Clayton’s overall wellbeing, and we will continue to support him through this period.
“It’s important for Clayton that we respect his privacy and his need for time and space.”
Oliver’s professionalism was repeatedly questioned in 2023 amid doubts over his future at Melbourne, with trade rumours circulating despite the midfielder being contracted until 2030.
The triple All-Australian was restricted to 15 games last season because of a hamstring injury.
Melbourne ultimately did not put him on the trade table, but coach Simon Goodwin made it clear Oliver needed to adhere to their standards.
Oliver will also face court on February 6 after he was charged with driving with a suspended licence.
He has been unable to drive on medical grounds since he was hospitalised following a seizure on October 12.
However, he was pulled over on November 16 and subsequently charged.
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Source: AFL NEWS ABC