The AFLW future of St Kilda star Georgia Patrikios is up in the air after the midfielder revealed she is yet to decide whether to be vaccinated for COVID-19.
Patrikios is one of the AFLW's brightest young talents, taking out St Kilda's best and fairest award in each of her two seasons and also being named in the 2021 All-Australian side.
The 20-year-old will take more leave away from the club before deciding whether to get vaccinated.
"I've been taking some time away from the club to consider my options and dissect my owns feelings about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine," Patrikios said in a statement.
"At this time, I remain unvaccinated, however I'm committed to learning more, consulting with additional medical professionals and continuing to discuss this with my family before ultimately making a final decision.
"I recognise that my personal timeline does not align with the AFL mandate and as a result I am currently unable to complete my duties at the club.
"The Saints could not have been more supportive throughout this period and I thank them all from Board members, senior club leaders, my coach Nick Dal Santo and to my teammates for their support and patience.
"While I continue to educate and arm myself with as much information as possible to help me make this decision, I ask for continued privacy."
St Kilda chief executive Matt Finnis said the club respected Patrikios' right to take her time in making a decision.
"However, our club also fully supports the vaccination requirements of the Victorian Government and the AFL and encourages all of our people and the broader community to get vaccinated," Finnis said.
"The club has opted to not place Georgia on the inactive list at this time, however we will obviously need to revisit this decision in coming weeks pending Georgia's position as the commencement of the AFLW season fast approaches."
Two-time AFLW premiership star Deni Varnhagen, who is a registered nurse, was moved on to the Adelaide Crows' inactive roster for opting against being vaccinated.
Carlton AFL player Liam Jones announced his retirement earlier this month after also deciding against taking the COVID-19 jab.
The news of Patrikios' position came on the same day that an unnamed GWS AFLW player tested positive to COVID-19, which forced three of her teammates who were deemed close contacts into self isolation.
Australian Associated Press
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