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An Uncertain Future: Jake Waterman’s Health Battle and the Impact on His AFL Career

An Uncertain Future: Jake Waterman’s Health Battle and the Impact on His AFL Career

In the Heart of the Storm: Jake Waterman’s Health Crisis

The promising Australian Football League (AFL) player, Jake Waterman, faces a heartbreaking health challenge, which casts a cloud over his future in the sport he cherishes.

At 25, Jake has been confronted with the harsh reality of an autoimmune condition – ulcerative colitis, a form of inflammatory bowel disease. This has resulted in his hospitalization and questions surrounding his ability to return to the field.

His father, Chris Waterman, an esteemed AFL veteran who claimed victory in the 1992 and 1994 West Coast championships, provides insight into his son’s health ordeal.

Chris expresses a father’s anguish, revealing that his son is “really sick” and navigating a potentially life-altering health condition.

An Uphill Battle: Jake Waterman’s Health Status

“The small percentage, according to the doctors, that it [Jake not playing again] could possibly happen,” shares Chris Waterman.

The immediate concern for the medical team is restoring Jake’s health to normalcy, while the question of him living on medication for the rest of his life remains unanswered.

Jake’s health condition, incurable in some cases, could ultimately lead to surgery. For now, the family remains hopeful that the infusions will help in controlling the inflammation, suggesting that Jake may need to continue with these treatments for several years until a sense of normalcy is achieved.

A Crucial Time: The AFL and Waterman’s Health

Jake’s health plight started to unfold before West Coast’s 122-point loss to Adelaide on June 10. He was sent home to Perth and admitted to the hospital a couple of days later.

His father believes the club should have been more proactive in monitoring Jake’s health, given the seriousness of his condition and his contractual obligations to the team.

In fact, Jake’s symptoms were evident before the Round 11 game against Essendon and the Round 12 game against Collingwood.

Despite his compromised health, he played, later ending up in significant pain during a trip to Adelaide with the team. Upon seeing Jake’s deteriorating condition, the decision was made to fly him back to Perth.

From the Club’s Corner: West Coast’s Response

West Coast’s general manager of football, Gavin Bell, offered a different perspective. He asserted that various individuals from the club, including himself, regularly checked in on Jake post his return from Adelaide.

Bell further elaborated, “The decision to get Jake home was made during the [Adelaide] game, based on the medical advice.

In the days that followed, the club doctor was in constant contact with Jake, and upon observing a worsening of his condition, referred him to a specialist. As per Bell, the team ensured Jake was admitted to the hospital and received the required care.

Despite the conflicting views, the primary concern remains Jake’s health and his potential return to the AFL. The unfolding situation serves as a reminder of the vulnerability athletes face when it comes to their health and their careers.



Cameron Noakes.

 source: 7NEWS

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