Second Port Adelaide player showing signs of viral meningitis

Adelaide: The AFL is not expected to intervene at this stage on growing concerns that Port Adelaide players and their opponents have been exposed to the threat of viral meningitis.

This follows confirmation that Port forward John Butcher and ruckman Jarrad Redden have contracted viral meningitis in the past five days.

Neither played against Collingwood at the MCG on Sunday, but there is concern that several players went into the game with gastroenteritis, which can be an early symptom of the contagious viral meningitis.

Butcher was released from Royal Adelaide Hospital late on Monday, but Redden remains there. His condition is stable.

AFL media relations manager Patrick Keane said the AFL’s general position was that its AFL clubs had outstanding medical staff and the welfare of their players was of the highest priority.

He declined to say whether the AFL would seek an assessment from Port’s medical staff to determine the possibility that other players, including those at Collingwood, and this week’s opponent Sydney, would also be at risk.


Port spent Monday cautioning its administration, coaching and training staff and players on the need to adopt stringent hygiene procedures within its training facility at Alberton.

Viral meningitis is not as life-threatening as bacterial meningitis, but it can lead to serious long-term medical conditions.

Defender Matthew Broadbent said he believed Butcher and Redden were doing OK.

‘‘I don’t know too much about viral meningitis, just that you’ve just got to get your hygiene right,’’ he said.

 ‘‘We’ll be doing that around the club to make sure it doesn’t spread too far.’’

Redden suffered a season-ending injury some weeks ago and was at the club doing rehabilitation work.

 Both he and Butcher are unlikely to return to the club for at least one or two weeks, or at least until fully cleared by medical staff.