COLLINGWOOD defender Nathan Murphy has been cleared to continue his playing career by an expert concussion medical panel.
Murphy, who has an extensive concussion history, suffered his latest setback in this year's Grand Final after his head was collected by Lincoln McCarthy's shoulder as both contested the ball late in the first quarter.
The 24-year-old left the ground immediately to be assessed for concussion and was ruled out of the remainder of the game.
Having been cleared to return to the football field in 2024, Collingwood said the defender's health and wellbeing remained their "absolute priority".
"Nathan suffered a concussion late in the first quarter of the Grand Final and following this incident – combined with his medical history – the club together with Nathan and his family, engaged with concussion specialists and the expert concussion medical panel convened by the AFL to assess a return to play," Collingwood footy boss Graham Wright said.
"At the conclusion of this process, the expert concussion medical panel convened by the AFL determined that Nathan was able to return to playing football in the elite AFL competition.
"The health and welfare of all athletes at Collingwood remains paramount and any incidence of concussion will continue to be managed appropriately and in line with the AFL's current concussion guidelines."
The club doctor, Murphy and his parents appeared before the club's board last week, with the board ticking off Murphy's return to play.
Murphy was a key figure in Collingwood's push to premiership success this year, playing 24 of a possible 25 games for the season.
The only game he missed was in round six, when he was sidelined under concussion protocols following an incident that led to St Kilda forward Anthony Caminiti being banned for three matches for striking.