Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley has bristled at the suggestion key defender Aliir Aliir returned to the field without being properly assessed following a collision with teammate Lachie Jones.
Aliir collided with Jones in a marking contest
He did not undergo a head injury assessment
Hinkley says he backs the decision made by the Power’s doctor
Aliir collided with Jones in a marking contest after running back with the flight of the ball, causing play to be stopped early in the second term of the Power’s 47-point Showdown loss to Adelaide on Saturday.
Both Power players had to be helped to their feet and looked set to be ruled out of the contest, but Aliir did not undergo a head injury assessment and returned to the field just minutes later.
Jones passed a head injury assessment but was subbed out at half-time due to a migraine.
“It was played out through the right hands and that was the doctor. The doctor made those decisions based around both players,” Hinkley said.
“He was really, really clear, and really, really certain to me, and Aliir was too, with Aliir in particular.
“I can tell you because I actually sat and spoke with Aliir, and Aliir spoke with me clear as he could be.
“The doctor was very, very comfortable that the situation was well and truly OK, and that he (Aliir) was able to go back on.”
Aliir went on to play out the match and finished lining up on Taylor Walker as the Crows’ veteran forward ran riot.
Walker booted seven goals to lead his side to a rousing triumph that reignited their finals hopes while also securing his first Showdown Medal.
“He (Aliir) went back out there and played the whole game, so I don’t think there was too many problems with Aliir other than he got beaten badly,” Hinkley said.
“But he was getting beaten by Taylor Walker for a fair bit of the night.”
The Power were scrutinised last season when captain Tom Jonas and on-baller Zak Butters clashed heads late in a match against Richmond but did not undergo head injury assessments.
Hinkley also backed Power doctor Mark Fisher’s judgement at that time.
Jones was assessed following the collision with Aliir and watched the second half from the bench.
“Lachie didn’t fail a concussion test, but he didn’t come back on. We subbed him out,” Hinkley said.
“In fact, at the end, he basically was subbed out with a migraine. But he’d done the concussion test and he passed the concussion test.”
The Power have now lost three consecutive matches following 13 straight wins that propelled them into the top two.
The latest defeat ensures second spot — and a home final in week one — is still up for grabs with the Power one win ahead of the Brisbane Lions with four matches still to play.
Source: AFL NEWS ABC