Ablett’s heartwarming three-word post
Gary Ablett has been reunited with wife Jordan and son Levi after walking away from his team's Perth hub on Saturday.
The Geelong star rushed home after the Cats' loss to Collingwood, just days after the AFL announced players based in Victoria were facing an extended period of at least eight weeks away from home.
Ablett announced earlier this month he had made the difficult decision to leave Victoria with his teammates despite Jordan caring for her sick mother and their 18-month-old son.
The wider AFL community has rallied around the young family after Ablett revealed Levi was diagnosed with a rare and degenerative condition.
It's why Ablett made the decision to split from his teammates and return to Victoria - with the blessing of his teammates and club.
Jordan captured the emotional moment Ablett was able to see his son on Sunday.
She captured the photo with a simple, heartwarming post on Instagram Sunday that read: "We miss you".
The post also had a black love heart emoji.
His return home was not an emergency situation, the club announced on Saturday.
Geelong football boss Simon Lloyd has told The Herald Sun the club expects to see Ablett return to the field this season.
"It is one of the things we are working closely on with the AFL and the Queensland state government," Lloyd said.
"Players are still being tested twice a week, they are in self-isolation, so the protocols players are adhering to are strict and we are going above and beyond what the general public are.
"We will work very closely on that with the AFL and its medical team and what that looks like for others who return because while Gary has stepped out there are plenty of others who will need to do it as well.
"The AFL has been highly professional and worked diligently with clubs but it's a moving feast in a way because we are living through a pandemic and these aren't ordinary times."
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Ablett's manager Liam Pickering confirmed the news on Saturday.
"I haven't spoken with him yet but I know he boarded a plane this morning and will obviously miss the next two games," Pickering told AFL Nation.
"He'll want to play again".
The move to fly home means Ablett will miss the Cats' next two games in Perth before he potentially rejoins the team in Queensland.
Ablett earlier this month opened up on his son's condition for the first time in an Instagram post before expressing how tough it will be for him to leave wife Jordan and Levi on their own for at least the next five weeks.
View this post on Instagram
Yesterday was a very special day and I’d just like to say a big thank you to everyone for your messages of support and encouragement. To reach this milestone was extra special for my family and I for a number of reasons. In the recent months, my wife and I have privately fought and continue to fight some pretty tough battles. Some of you might already know that Jordan is caring for her mum as she battles with cancer. But what many of you don’t know is that our son has been recently diagnosed with a rare and degenerative disease. After a great amount of thought and consideration, we decided that it’s time to share this with you. We thank you for your love and support and want to emphasise just how grateful we are to be Levi’s parents. He is a true blessing to us and our family and we love him so deeply. Anyone who knows him knows how full of joy he is and how he always has a smile on his face. I would also like to thank the Geelong football club for the way you have cared for our family throughout this time, always ensuring that we feel loved and fully supported. The biggest thank you needs to go to my wife, Jordan. Without you I wouldn’t have made it to 350 games. All of those nights looking after our boy, allowing me to get a good nights sleep before main training and games. The many things that you do for Levi and I all the while hurting and caring for your mum and also trying to get your head around Levi’s diagnosis. You’re so strong and resilient... I love you Jordan. ❤️ @jordan_ablett
Ablett's wife Jordan posted a photo of Levi to her Instagram account on Friday night from the Royal Children's Hospital.
Gary Ablett's wife Jordan posted this photo of their son Levi from the Royal Children's Hospital to her Instagram last night ahead of Gary leaving Geelong's WA hub today. pic.twitter.com/JqGcJGoE6m— Triple M Footy (@triplemfooty) July 18, 2020
Geelong coach Chris Scott said the club wouldn't stand in the way of Ablett leaving whenever he felt he needed to.
We've put a lot of thought into it but really at the end of the day it's an intensely personal decision for Gary," Scott said.
"He's decided to speak, or at least elaborate, a little bit publicly on it. I think really he should be the only spokesperson in regard to his feelings and to an extent his plans because we consider our role as one of support for whatever he needs."
Originally published as Ablett's heartwarming three-word post