POTENTIAL top-10 draft pick Jordan Clark faces a delayed start to his first AFL pre-season after being recently diagnosed with glandular fever and tonsillitis.
Clubs were notified in recent days about the half-back's illness, with the potential he could spend some weeks at home before shifting interstate if drafted outside of Western Australia.
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It appears more likely than not that Clark will not be picked by a WA club, with Greater Western Sydney (picks nine and 11), Port Adelaide (pick 10) and Adelaide (picks eight and 13) all linked to the 18-year-old.
Fremantle would look at Clark if he slipped through to pick No.14, although most clubs believe he is unlikely to get that deep into the first round.
His illness will not concern clubs who are considering him early in the draft, although it is likely to hamper his first pre-season on a list.
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WA talent manager Adam Jones said Clark had started to feel down two weeks ago before the diagnosis was confirmed.
"About two weekends ago he had a pretty sore throat and was feeling pretty tired and run down and thought he had tonsillitis, but it got a little bit worse and got some blood tests and came back that he had glandular fever," Jones said.
"The recommendation from the doctor is to have six weeks of no activity, which will put him past the draft until he can start doing physical activity again.
"He's feeling OK at the moment, but a little more tired than normal."
The possibility of starting at his AFL club once he is fit to train would be something that is decided once he is selected next week.
"That'll be a decision for the club that drafts him and their medical staff. It is a possibility but it'll be a decision for the club that picks him up and Jordan and his family," Jones said.
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It has been a sharp ascent up the draft board for Clark this year, after he gave away a promising cricket career to focus on his football.
Clark played for Australia's under-16s team against Pakistan in Dubai last year, when he picked up a hat-trick in a one-day game and finished with figures of 5-37.
However he showed his talents as an attacking defender who can read the play and distribute well, and averaged 20 disposals and six rebounds 50s across the national carnival to be named an All Australian.
He also performed well at senior level for WAFL side Claremont, averaging 15 disposals in five appearances. He looks set to be the first player from his state drafted next week, ahead of speedy small forward Ian Hill.
"He's never done a football pre-season and started the year a little bit slow, but in the championships and then after that with Claremont he showed what he's capable of and that's off no pre-season and hardly ever having touched a weight," Jones said.
"The upside is enormous and he's put some really good runs on the board this year."