NORTH Melbourne's VFL co-captain Michael Close has not given up on reigniting his AFL dream despite a serious concussion ending his season prematurely.
The ex-Brisbane forward, who played 27 games for the Lions, suffered "a significant bleed" on his brain after suffering a heavy hit against Geelong in the VFL two Saturdays ago.
The Kangaroos' medical team cleared Close to go home that afternoon, but he spent that night and the next morning vomiting before contacting the club doctor, who ordered him an ambulance.
It all came as a shock for Geelong-based Close, who turns 24 in July, after he felt fine post-game.
"It would have been about 13 or so hours after the game when I started vomiting," Close told nmfc.com.au.
"I had a rough night and couldn't sleep. In the morning, I knew something wasn't right when I vomited again. It wasn't a good sign.
"I was taken to hospital in Horsham for a CT scan. It showed a significant bleed on my brain, which, I'll admit, did scare me.
"My mum is a nurse, so she was fully aware of the seriousness of that, too. I was a little bit in the dark with the seriousness of that, but she was well aware."
Doctors barred Close from doing any exercise for the next six weeks and he will perform only light duties for the rest of the year.
"Providing my next few scans show improvement, I'll be allowed to resume training with physical contact in January 2019," he said.
Close spent five seasons on Brisbane's list before being delisted last year.
He reunited with his old North Ballarat Rebels coach David Loader, who took the reins for North's new VFL team this season, in the hope of scoring a second chance at the elite level.
"I'll be doing everything by the book to ensure that I can return to full fitness and get back playing footy again," he said.
"I've spoken to 'Deeksy' (Loader) and definitely want to stay involved.
"I'll do whatever the club needs, whether that be at training, on the bench or in the box on game day."
Close's case would be familiar in footballers, with Jack Fitzpatrick, Sam Shaw and Justin Clarke retiring from the AFL because of serious concussions.
Gold Coast's Kade Kolodjashnij and Western Bulldogs premiership star Liam Picken are both on the comeback trail from lingering concussion symptoms.