AFL warned con­cus­sion rule could be mis­used

Townsville Bulletin - - Sport -

T H E A F L ’ s c o n c u s s i o n crack­down could prompt c l u b s t o d e l i b e r a t e l y mis­di­ag­nose play­ers or force oth­ers out of ac­tion un­nec­es­sar­ily, the league has been warned.

Mir­ror­ing wide­spread dis­con­tent with the planned new in­ter­change rules, yes­ter­day’s AFL an­nounce­ment that con­cussed play­ers will be banned from re­turn­ing to the field was mostly poorly re­ceived.

Carl­ton cap­tain Chris Judd said the stricter pol­icy – re­leased two days be­fore the sea­son-opener – might cause clubs to avoid di­ag­nos­ing the con­di­tion, rather than lose a player.

‘‘ You’ll just never get any­one con­cussed any­more,’’ Judd said.

The reign­ing Brown­low Medal­list said the crack­down could com­pound the dif­fi­culty clubs faced man­ag­ing the re­duc­tion from four in­ter­change play­ers to three plus a sub­sti­tute.

‘‘ The risk is that if clubs use that sub too early and then get some in­juries they may be tempted or forced to put in­jured play­ers back out on the field,’’ he said. ‘‘ I think that would be a concern.’’

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