Cunningham ‘fantastic’, Adams likely to miss for Swans

Esther Linder |

Sydney’s Harry Cunningham will not play against Richmond, in line with AFL concussion guidelines
Sydney’s Harry Cunningham will not play against Richmond, in line with AFL concussion guidelines

Sydney recruit Taylor Adams is unlikely to return from a knee injury in time to face Richmond, but teammate Harry Cunningham is recovering well after suffering a concussion.

Coach John Longmire said Cunningham was “doing fantastic” after being knocked out in a controversial high bump by Essendon’s Peter Wright on the weekend. 

“Harry’s pulled up really well. Yesterday he was in great spirits, feeling really good about himself,” Longmire said. 

“Today he’s fantastic. He’s feeling really good, so that’s our main concern.”

Cunningham will not play against Richmond this weekend in line with the AFL’s concussion guidelines, and may miss a second match depending on his condition. 

Sydney recruit Taylor Adams (left) and coach John Longmire
Sydney recruit Taylor Adams (left) and coach John Longmire talk tactics on the sidelines. (Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS)

New recruit Adams is also on the mend after suffering a knee injury in the pre-season against Brisbane, and Longmire said it was “doubtful” Adams would be ready to play. 

“I think we’ve got to be mindful that he probably needs to do more from a training perspective to feel good about himself,” Longmire said. 

The former Magpie suffered a medial ligament tear in a tackle from the Lions’ Cam Rayner and was initially ruled out for three to four weeks.

The AFL is desperate to reduce the amount of concussions in the game and has come down heavily on several recent bumps. St Kilda’s Jimmy Webster copped a seven-match suspension for his pre-season bump on North Melbourne skipper Jy Simpkin.

“My first point of call is always about our player,” Longmire said of Cunningham’s concussion and debate about the high bump from Wright.  

“All we can do as coaches is to move with the times and move with the legislation and move with the rules of the game. 

“But the main thing is … (Cunningham is) feeling really good and his health and wellbeing is always at the forefront for us.

“When these incidents happen, it’s just a matter of caring as much as we can for the player.”

Wright was slapped with a four-match ban at the AFL Tribunal after pleading guilty to the airborne bump that concussed Cunningham and resulted in the Sydney defender being stretchered off the ground.

The rough conduct charge was classified as careless conduct, severe impact and high contact – all elements Wright accepted. 

“The message is that kind of contest is not really acceptable and we need to put the players’ care first and foremost,” Wright told reporters after the tribunal hearing.

AAP