The AFL says Essendon defender Conor McKenna contracted coronavirus while in Melbourne, after five negative tests following his return from Ireland.

But where exactly in Melbourne he caught the deadly virus remains a mystery that the Victorian Health Department will explore.

The Bombers speedster provided a negative COVID-19 test result as recently as Wednesday, but by Friday returned a “low level” irregular result, AFL boss Gil McLachlan revealed on Saturday.

FREO-PORT GAME DELAYED AFTER POSITIVE RESULT

VICTORIA HIT BY SECOND WAVE OF COVID-19 CASES

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His subsequent test on Saturday came back positive.

“I feel disappointed for Conor, feel disappointed for Essendon,” McLachlan said.

“There’s every indication he’s picked it up here in Melbourne this week (and) the infection was starting in the last 24 hours.

“Hopefully it’s contained to Conor.”

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As a precaution, McKenna was withdrawn from the club’s training run on Saturday.

McKenna is one of 25 new cases in Victoria alone for Saturday as the State’s coronavirus numbers soar.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed restrictions would once again be tightened following a second wave of positive cases — 21 on Wednesday, 18 on Thursday and 13 on Friday.

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McKenna had headed home to Ireland when the worldwide pandemic hit in late March, but returned to Australia last month and isolated for 14 days as required.

He returned to training on June 2.

McKenna’s teammates were reportedly unaware of his positive result and will now head into isolation for 14 days.

McLachlan confirmed all players and staff deemed in close contact with McKenna would be tested on Tuesday.

Camera IconMELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 19: Conor McKenna of the Bombers in action during the Essendon Bombers training session at The Hangar on March 19, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos) Credit: AFL Photos

“The club will be closed and cleaned,” he said.

“All those deemed in close contact will need to isolate.”

McLachlan said the Bombers-Demons clash would not go ahead as scheduled on Sunday.

“We said at the outset we needed to be flexible and agile and that’s what we will be,” he said.

“It’s a reminder to our clubs, supporters and wider community that we are not through this crisis.

“In the end, (the positive result) was always a possibility.

“I’m pleased the testing picked it up, I’m pleased that we had a whole series of procedures put in place quite quickly.

“I feel we are well prepared.”



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