STAR St Kilda defender Dylan Roberton is feeling alert and well, but will be out of action for at least a fortnight as he continues to undergo tests for an irregular heartbeat which saw him collapse in Sunday’s loss to Geelong at GMHBA Stadium.
Saints football manager Simon Lethlean said Roberton – who had no previous history of heart-related issues – was in good spirits after the incident which left the football world in shock.
Roberton slumped to the turf with no player within 15 metres of him seven minutes into the second term and was sent to Geelong’s Epworth Hospital for treatment.
St Kilda coach Alan Richardson said Roberton’s team mates were ‘anxious’ to learn of his wellbeing at half-time.
“From all reports he’s alert, he’s eating, certainly for the family members that are home, from all reports at the moment he’s doing well,” said Richardson.
“One of the line coaches in particular (backline coach Henry Playfair), let me know the backs are really anxious and just want to know about one of their mates (at half-time). It was pretty important we got that information to them.”
“It was obviously a bit of a shock, shocked a few of his mates.”
“I’ve never really seen anything like that, my thoughts immediately go towards the player.”
“You’re trying to get feedback reasonably quickly and there’s not a lot of answers come back your way, particularly when he goes off to hospital.”
“It was really comforting once we were able to get some feedback that he’s okay now.”
The 26-year-old was released from hospital on Monday and hopes to miss just the clash with Greater Western Sydney at Etihad Stadium.
“This week I’m ruled out, just as a precaution. I’ll do all the testing and then hopefully back on the track next week,” Roberton said.
Despite the worrying scenes, Roberton wasn’t particularly concerned.
“It was a bit of a scare, probably more so for family and friends. I was fine straight away,” said Roberton.
Roberton’s recollection of the incident is hazy.
“I just remember watching the ball go up and getting dizzy, but that’s about it,” Roberton said.
St Kilda football manager Simon Lethlean predicted the intercept defender’s stint on the sidelines could be lengthier.
“In the short-term, he’ll have a number of different tests and each of those results will dictate where he goes thereafter,” Lethlean said.
“There’ll be no exercising in the meantime, so at least, you’d imagine, a one or two-week lay-off and we’ll see how it is.”
Saints players take wellness surveys twice a week and Roberton had not given medical staff any cause for concern.
“There’s been no signs that this was upcoming,” Lethlean said.
“Hopefully a one-off event and we don’t see it again, but there’s nothing that led us toward thinking this might be occurring.”