Superstar AFL midfielder Clayton Oliver has taken an extended leave of absence from Melbourne as he continues to deal with a number of personal issues that have plagued his past six months.
The 26-year-old was absent from the Demons’ first day back at training following the Christmas break on Thursday and there is no timeline for his return.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Clayton Oliver takes leave of absence.
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Melbourne footy boss Alan Richardson said the club will continue to support their four-time best and fairest winner.
“Clayton has personal issues that he has been dealing with,” Richardson said.
“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.”
Clayton Oliver is taking an indefinite break from football as he battles ongoing personal issues. Credit: AAP
It’s the latest in a string of off-season woes for Oliver, who last month left the club’s Lorne training camp early to deal with “personal medical challenges”, as revealed by 7NEWS Melbourne’s Mitch Cleary.
The Demons spent four days in the Victorian beach town on the surf coast, but Oliver was gone after the first day of the camp.
The week previous to that, Cleary revealed Oliver is set to face court on Febuary 6 after allegedly driving with a licence that was suspended on medical grounds.
He had been banned from driving after being hospitalised by a seizure in October.
Oliver allegedly refused to abide by doctors’ orders, getting behind the wheel in the aftermath of his medical episode.
He was pulled over by police and charged with driving while his licence was suspended.
Clayton Oliver has had a troubled off-season. Credit: Seven
That all came after a disastrous 2023 season for the premiership star, who battled injury for most of a season that had, until his hamstrings setbacks, already been sub-par by his high-performing standards.
He was then forced to meet with club leaders amid intense trade speculation that dominated the days leading up to last year’s trade period.
Oliver later vowed to improve his professionalism and see out his seven-year, $7 million contract.
Then came his stint in hospital, where he arrived by ambulance, which was the result of a head knock, the club said in October.
“The hospital completed a number of tests and Clayton has since been discharged from hospital and is recovering at home,” Melbourne said at the time.
“The club will continue to work with Clayton and his medical support team to ensure he receives all the necessary treatment.”
He was put through a series of scans and assessments before being discharged and picked up by friends.
The club held crisis talks on the eve of the trade period to discuss if Oliver’s future was at the club or elsewhere.
His professionalism was called into question during a troubled season.
He only managed 15 games for the season, missing 10, and ended up in hospital with a foot infection that was, according to the club, caused by a blister.
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