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Yarran released by Tigers after ongoing mental health issues

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 21: Chris Yarran of the Tigers in action during the Richmond Tigers training session at Punt Road Oval in Melbourne, Australia on November 21, 2016. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Chris Yarran has been released by the Tigers

CHRIS Yarran has been released from his contract with Richmond immediately and will return to Western Australia to deal with ongoing mental health issues.

The Tigers released a statement on Tuesday afternoon, saying Yarran had failed to meet the demands of AFL football given his personal issues, which have prevented him from playing a game since joining the club.

One day after returning to training with the main group at Punt Road Oval, Yarran said he was "deeply disappointed" he couldn't repay the club after crossing from Carlton at the end of 2015. 

Football manager Neil Balme said it was in Yarran's best interests to focus on his health without the added demands of a rigorous AFL program. 

"Chris has found it difficult to meet the demands of AFL football given his personal issues," Balme said.

"Ultimately it was agreed with Chris, and his management, that stepping away from the game is in the best interest of his long-term health and wellbeing."

Yarran, who had two seasons to run on his contract, will now return to his home state. 

The defender, who played 119 games with Carlton, said he appreciated the support of Richmond over the past 12 months.

"I am extremely grateful for the support Richmond has given me over the past year," he said.

"I am deeply disappointed my ongoing health issues have not allowed me to repay the club and its supporters."

Yarran was a high-profile recruit for the Tigers in a deal that went through in the last half an hour of the 2015 NAB AFL Trade Period. 

His first pre-season got off to a rocky start, arriving in less than ideal shape and then undergoing foot surgery in March.

The 25-year-old was granted leave in May to deal with personal and family issues, with the club conceding he faced a bigger battle than first thought.   

He spent the off-season working through a tailored program with personal trainer Tom Couch.

While he appeared upbeat with teammates at Punt Road Oval on Tuesday, he remained well short of ideal condition when he joined the main training group.

"I think it all just started to add up and it's come to this today after much soul searching over the past month," Yarran's manager Paul Connors told SEN.

"He went back to Perth recently for support from family and 'Couchy' went with him and saw another side to 'Yaz' that was super impressive.

"We believe he needs the support of his mum and sisters and some extended family. That'll be really good for him.

"He'd have three good days and one bad day, and Chris knew that couldn't continue … it was a pretty gut-wrenching day today." 

If you or someone you know suffers from depression or a mental health issue, call beyondblue on 1300 224 636 or visit beyondblue.org.au