Port Adelaide has been criticized for not properly assessing the head injury of Aliir Aliir after the defender clashed heads with teammate Lachie Jones in the 65-112 defeat to rivals the Adelaide Crows.
The incident happened in the second quarter during a marking contest and Jones was immediately taken off because of a migraine, while Aliir made a surprising comeback to the field seven minutes after suffering the blow to his head.
Despite playing out the remainder of the match, the defender is now a doubt for Port Adelaide’s next game. Interestingly, Lachie Jones could play against Geelong after passing a concussion test.
The AFL said it would investigate Port Adelaide’s actions and decide whether Aliir should have been put through an HIA.
The Power Doctor Cleared Aliir to Come Back On
Mark Fisher, the Port Adelaide doctor said there was no need for a HIA and Power head coach Ken Hinkley was fully on board with that decision. However, Port Adelaide fans were worried and took to social media to express their concern.
After the game, Hinkley said he was surprised by how “clear” and “bright” Aliir Aliir was after the clash of heads with his teammate and that he could understand fans being concerned for his health considering the severity of the collision and how it looked.
Former Player Calls for an Independent Doctor on Each Match
Sam Skinner, who played two games for Port Adelaide in 2022 and ex-Eagles player Will Schofield were not impressed, though.
Skinner wrote on Twitter that the Power might have broken the rules after fielding Aliir Aliir back in and questioned whether they cared for the health and wellbeing of their player.
Schofield agreed and asked the league to delegate an independent doctor at every match so that things like this didn’t happen.
Aliir Looked Clear and Bright
Hinkley said that the matter was “played out through the right hands,” those of the team doctor. The Port Adelaide head coach said that the Power doctor was clear about both players and he was comfortable with the decision of allowing Aliir Aliir back on. Hinkley added that he spoke to Aliir as well, and the player was “clear as he could be.”
The Power coach said he understood why fans were worried and that he himself was surprised by how clear and bright he looked. Hinkley went on to say that Aliir Aliir had no issue with the decision to bring him back on and that he was the same player he spoke to before and during the match.
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