‘Do the right thing’: Port coach explains concussion call after star tested, plays, then tested again

Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley has explained his club’s decision to send defender Tom Jonas for a concussion assessment more than 30 minutes after his head clash, and after he had returned to the game.

Given the club’s recent $100,000 fine for the concussion controversy surrounding star defender Aliir Aliir – $50,000 of which is still hanging over their heads outside the soft cap – Hinkley felt his medical team had taken extra precautions with Jonas, who returned to the field before undergoing a SCAT assessment.

Jonas had eyes only for the footy when he clashed heads with teammate Ryan Burton midway through the second term.

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But only Jonas came from the field as he was bleeding from the head.

The club said Jonas was given an initial five-minute HIA assessment on the bench before the half time break, and felt he was able to return to the contest – which he did after half time.

It was during the third term Hinkley confirmed the decision was made to take Jonas off for the official SCAT5 assessment.

“With the information and feedback we got and in the position we’ve been in, we made the really cautious decision to make sure we actually did everything we should have,” he said in his post-match press conference.

“We want to lead the way with that now … we don’t want to cause any problems.

“(The doctor said) we need to make sure we take time off and do this concussion test for the concussion safety.

“For me to give you all the information to be exactly accurate, I’m coaching a game so it’s a bit more challenging but my information was he needed to have the head assessment done after half time so we made that decision to make sure he did have that done.

“It’s the responsibility of me and the club to do the right thing.

“Being where we’ve been after half time we just thought the vision, you go back through it and the messages we get, ‘look let’s just do the right thing’. Not take that chance. Do the head assessment. We were really clear that he was OK.

“I was really pleased with the decision to do what we did I thought it was really brave because we’ve been under the microscope for those sort of things.”

Port Adelaide Press Conference | 08:25

Hinkley confirmed Burton – who clashed heads with Jonas – was not brought off for assessment and was later subbed out of the game with an unrelated knee injury.

“He was off because of his knee – nothing to do with his head. He was fine. Absolutely fine,” he said.

The Power found themselves at the centre of a concussion controversy last month when Aliir Aliir and Lachie Jones had a sickening head clash.

Port doctor Mark Fisher chose not to administer a SCAT5 concussion test on Aliir, sparking a league investigation which saw the club fined $100,000.

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