Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson says he was lucky to beat his rare auto-immune disease.
The AFL premiership coach says he only won his battle by treating Guillain-Barre syndrome with respect.
“When you have got a significant illness and you know the ramifications if you got a severe bout of it, I just had to really respect the illness and get myself right,” Clarkson said after Hawthorn downed Adelaide by 12 points on Friday night.
He said the disease “knocked me around for a little while”.
“I was just really, really fortunate that we picked it up so early and got treated by some medicos that really assisted me with getting back on my feet really quickly,” Clarkson said.
“I was just really fortunate that I responded so quickly to the medication.
“It can be a dreadful illness. And there’s some that have got it so much worse than what I had it.
“I have got great empathy for those people because it’s a difficult disease to overcome … it can cause you a lot of grief.”
Clarkson’s Hawks rest next week before a heavyweight stoush against Sydney at the MCG on July 26.
Clarkson hoped midfielder Brad Hill (knee), defender Josh Gibson (torn chest muscle) and veteran Brad Sewell (hamstring) would press for selection after their bye.