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Press Conference | Luke Beveridge (Rd13) Luke Beveridge spoke to the media ahead of Round 13 against Port Adelaide.

Any decision on Liam Picken’s return to the football field will be a joint decision because of the risks associated with concussion, Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge said on Wednesday.

Talking to media ahead of the Bulldogs’ trip to Adelaide to take on the Power, Beveridge said there had been an indication that the 31-year-old might return after the bye rounds but that optimism has again made way for a more cautious approach, with the coach suggesting that he was now doubtful that 31-year-old would play again in 2018.

“As recent as a month ago the news was positive - the testing going on behind the scenes and how he was feeling, there was every indication he was going to be able to come back and play,” Beveridge said.

“But I think now I'm back to where we were at the start of the year, probably doubtful that he may play again in the back half of this year but even if he does, I wouldn't count on any great impact.”

Beveridge’s comments came as Picken himself addressed his ongoing battle on social media, opening up for the first time on the condition that is threatening his decorated 198-game career.

“Concussion is an extremely complex injury with so many unknowns. It’s also an injury that not many people really understand,” he wrote.

“And because it’s an injury with symptoms less visible to others unlike breaking a leg etc, it’s hard for others to understand what you’re going through. In fact, it can be a lonely and dark road to travel.

Picken, however, remains optimistic he will return to football sometime soon. 

“Some (symptons) I still have and others I’ve fully recovered from. I’m hoping it‘s any day now,” he said.

“But one of the hardest aspects of post-concussion syndrome is not knowing when you’ll get better.

People still ask what’s going on with me or why I’m not playing yet. And although it’s been made clear to me that I’m on the road to full health, the timeline is unclear.

“I’ve been so lucky that I’ve been guided through my experience by the best club, doctors and world leading experts. Knowing I’m in extremely qualified hands has made this journey less daunting and has accelerated my recovery.

Beveridge also praised Picken’s bravery and selflessness in using his personal plight to encourage others to seek help, nothing that It's “not in Picko's nature to be so overt”.

“I just want to encourage anyone that may have been hit, suffered concussion and doesn’t feel 100% to speak up and seek help,” he wrote.

“And hopefully my transparency has helped other’s that may be feeling alone in their journey.”

The Dogs travel to Adelaide to take on the Power this Thursday night.

Concussion is an extremely complex injury with so many unknowns. It’s also an injury that not many people really understand. And because it’s an injury with symptoms less visible to others unlike breaking a leg etc, it’s hard for others to understand what you’re going through. In fact, it can be a lonely and dark road to travel. Then a small minority don’t recover from concussion as quickly and have a longer road to recovery. Those people are usually diagnosed with post concussion syndrome, like me. Symptoms of concussion can range significantly, not only from person to person, but from one person’s seperate concussions. I’ve had a number of hits and concussions but I knew from the outset that this time was different. . Some of the symptoms that have impacted me have been light and noise sensitivity, noise ringing in my ears, vision, headaches, migraines, mental wellness, memory function and impaired balance. . Some of these I still have and others I’ve fully recovered from. I’m hoping it‘s any day now. . But one of the hardest aspects of post concussion syndrome is not knowing when you’ll get better. People still ask what’s going on with me or why I’m not playing yet. And although it’s been made clear to me that I’m on the road to full health, the timeline is unclear. . I’ve been so lucky that I’ve been guided through my experience by the best club, doctors and world leading experts. Knowing I’m in extremely qualified hands has made this journey less daunting and has accelerated my recovery. I just want to encourage anyone that may have been hit, suffered concussion and doesn’t feel 100% to speak up and seek help. And hopefully my transparency has helped other’s that may be feeling alone in their journey.

A post shared by Liam Picken (@liampicken) on