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Ken Hinkley defends Port’s team doctor for allowing Zak Butters and Tom Jonas back on the field

“Do you want him to go back to medical school?” Ken Hinkley defends Port’s team doctor for allowing Zak Butters and Tom Jonas back on the field after VISIBLE collision and insists the pair showed no sign of concussion after the game

  • Tom Jonas and Zak Butters had a sickening showdown when they lost to Richmond
  • Port Adelaide duo left the field bleeding after serious collision
  • Butters came back into action after six minutes, Jonas was back two minutes later
  • Ken Hinkley insisted Port’s doctor was ‘one of the most experienced in the AFL’
  • Port was fined $20,000 for rushing a player back onto the field in 2016

Ken Hinkley launched a staunch defense of the Port Adelaide team doctor after allowing Zak Butters and Tom Jonas to rejoin the scenes following a sickening head-on collision on Thursday night.

The Power duo looked to wrap up Richmond’s halfback Liam Baker on Thursday night in the mid-fourth quarter of Port’s 77-65 loss to the MCG.

As Butters tried to drag Baker down from behind, the Tigers pistol managed to dodge his grasp, with momentum sending the former head forward toward Jonas, who was chasing the Richmond player.

Port Adelaide stars Tom Jonas and Zak Butters suffered a sickening head-on collision on Thursday

Port Adelaide stars Tom Jonas and Zak Butters suffered a sickening head-on collision on Thursday

The duo were immediately attended to by Port’s medical staff and left the field with Butters bleeding profusely from just above his nose and Jonas with a notable cut just above his eyebrow.

However, Butters returned to action after just six minutes, with Jonas re-entering the frame a few minutes later after being acquitted by Power Doctor Mark Fisher.

Given the violent nature of the collision, it was surprising to see both players back on the field without undergoing a head injury assessment, but Hinkley dismissed any criticism of Fisher.

The Power duo seemed poised to take on Richmond Liam Baker (center), who managed to escape

The Power duo seemed poised to take on Richmond Liam Baker (center), who managed to escape

Despite the sickening collision, both Butters and Jonas were back in action after a few minutes

Despite the sickening collision, both Butters and Jonas were back in action after a few minutes

“I understand there will be some talk around the collision, but people are getting cuts in football games and not getting concussions,” the Port coach said in his press conference after the game.

“I have a doctor who has been with our football club for 25 years and the conversation between our doctor and our football manager during the game was that these guys have no problem with concussions.

“If someone has a challenge in that and they feel more qualified than Mark Fisher, who has been an AFL doctor for 25 years, feel free.”

To a follow-up question about the incident, the Power coach replied, “I have the most experienced physician in the AFL making these decisions. Where do you want him to go? Back to medical school?’

Port coach Ken Hinkley defended the doctor's decision to send the players back on the field

Port coach Ken Hinkley defended the doctor’s decision to send the players back on the field

Hinkley also insisted that doctors on the field were much better equipped and experienced to make decisions than pundits and spectators who watched from the commentary field or the sidelines.

“We have a very experienced doctor who has the utmost respect in the AFL. […] I trust the people who run that part of our organization in those facets of the game.’

Hinkley acknowledged the brutality of the impact, but added Butters and Jonas didn’t appear to show any sign of a concussion when he spoke to them in the barns after the match.

Butters had to go back on the road after a hit for further treatment

Butters had to go back on the road after a hit for further treatment

Jonas was out for only eight minutes and did not undergo HIA

Jonas was out for only eight minutes and did not undergo HIA

“They didn’t lie down or pass out and they didn’t do anything crazy,” he said. “They spoke to me very clearly.”

It is not the first time that Port has run into problems due to the treatment of a serious head collision.

In 2016, the Power were fined $20,000 – with half the amount suspended until 2018 – for chasing Hamish Hartlett back onto the field after just five minutes in a game against Hawthorn, rather than waiting 15 minutes, according to the competition rules.

“We accept that we didn’t get it the way we should have got it,” Hinkley said at the time.

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