The AFL’s chief medical officer has praised Adelaide’s handling of forward Kurt Tippett’s spate of concussions and warned that a stricter policy could cause more harm than good.
The Crows star will miss Saturday’s clash with Geelong, after suffering three concussions in five weeks.
While the Crows expect Tippett to miss just one match, his recent rate of concussion injuries has sparked suggestions by some experts that he should be sidelined for the rest of the season.
But AFL medical officers association (AFLMOA) executive officer Hugh Seward said forcing players to rest for long periods based purely on the number of concussions suffered would be dangerous.
“Tailoring management on a case by case basis is imperative, with the over-riding principle being that no player returns to play until fully recovered,” Seward said in a statement on Friday.
“There is no scientific evidence to support a blanket rule of three concussions requiring a designated period of rest or retirement.
“The practice of a mandated disqualification period from future play based on an arbitrary number of concussions would result in under-reporting of mild concussions by players, which would place player welfare at risk.
“It is an individual assessment that determines each case.”
Seward said doctors assessing AFL players had considerable expertise and knowledge of the latest research into the issue.
“The case of Adelaide Football Club player Kurt Tippett has been professionally handled by the club and sends a clear message to the community that concussion is a serious issue that should be managed conservatively,” he said.