THE AFL has ticked off Port Adelaide's handling of its concussion protocols during Friday night's loss to Richmond at the MCG.
Power duo Tom Jonas and Zak Butters came from the field after a sickening head clash during a tense final quarter. Both had bloodied faces and were treated by medicos before returning the play out the final minutes of the contest.
Questions were raised if the Power followed the correct protocols surrounding head knocks, but the AFL released a statement on Friday clearing the club of any wrongdoing.
"The AFL's Chief Medical Officer has reviewed the HawkEye vision of the collision last night between Port Adelaide players Jonas and Butters. He has also reviewed the management of the players at the time including the sideline assessment and HawkEye evaluation by the club doctors," the statement read.
"Ultimately, there was no clinical indication of concussion that warranted further investigation and testing, thus the club doctors allowing both players to return to the field.
"The AFL is satisfied that the club complied with the AFL’s concussion guidelines in the management of the players."
Jonas said he and Butters were cleared of concussion and not pressured to return to the action.
"They (medicos) basically ask where you are, what’s your birthday, who is your significant other, what’s your phone number all those sort of things," Jonas told Triple M radio.
" ... In terms of last night, there was absolutely no pressure from the (coaches) box for us to get back on.
"Particularly in my role as a players association board delegate, I appreciate the gravity and seriousness of the concussion issue.
"So there was no pressure to go on and I wouldn’t have gone on if I felt like I was putting the doctors, the club and the competition at risk given all the great work we have done in that area.
"The doctors ... say 'we have assessed the footage and there is nothing on there that would indicate a concussion'."
Port had already used its medical substitute when the incident happened, prompting some commentators to question why Jonas and Butters weren't placed under the 20-minute concussion protocol.
Hinkley stressed he had full faith in club doctor Mark Fisher and football manager Chris Davies, who were on the bench as the two bloodied players left the field.
"I have a doctor who has been with our footy club for 25 years and the conversation between our doctor and our football manager (Davies) ... was these boys, they have no issue with concussion," Hinkley said post-match.
"So if anyone has a challenge on that, and they feel more qualified than Mark Fisher ... feel free.
"But I think you need to be really, really sure, that you're not trying to umpire or make some calls from outside the fence when you have no knowledge.
"Do you think a doctor of 25 years would take a risk with concussion, with the seriousness of the injuries that go on now with concussion?"