Cats welcome query into action on Christensen head knock

Geelong has welcomed an investigation into whether its medical staff acted appropriately in allowing Allen Christensen back onto the field just minutes after receiving a head knock against Gold Coast.

Christensen, who has a history of sustaining head knocks and concussions, was cleaned up by Suns big man Charlie Dixon in an accidental collision with 15 minutes remaining in the final quarter of Saturday's loss to the Suns. He then returned to the field within three minutes of playing time

It was revealed on Monday night that the AFL would make inquiries to Geelong about the incident. It came on the same day Brisbane Lions champion Jonathan Brown announced he had been forced to retire primarily due to concerns about several head knocks sustained over his career.

Cats coach Chris Scott, a former premiership teammate of Brown, said the Geelong doctors were "absolutely adamant" that Christensen was not put at risk.

"I think it's good that we are talking about it. We certainly have nothing to hide from it," Scott said on Channel Nine's Footy Classified on Monday night.

"I don't think it's something that anyone should gloss over. We welcome the scrutiny and will make sure that if there is anything we could have done better, it will be addressed.

"But again, our doctors are absolutely adamant that the process was followed in the right way."

Scott said the doctor in charge of Christensen's examination, Dr Chris Bradshaw, had already contacted the AFL's chief medical officer, Dr Peter Harcourt.

"He explained the situation to him and his understanding is that Peter is more than satisfied with the explanation," Scott said.

"The doctors take their integrity extremely seriously, especially someone as experienced as Dr Bradshaw."

Christensen's most recent head knock came against Greater Western Sydney in round 11 last year, when he accidentally bumped heads with team-mate Steve Johnson.

In an interview with Fairfax Media in 2012, Christensen described how he had sustained five separate head knocks in that season, including "a three or four-week period where I got three in a row".

"I don't know what I was doing wrong," he added.

Asked if he was worried about Christensen, Scott said it was important to differentiate between what was a "concussion" and "head knock".

"Allen has definitely had a few head knocks. He hasn't had as many concussions as some people would believe," the coach said.

"But given his history, our doctors are even more cautious when it comes to him, and that's why we think it's really important that we have doctors that know the players and understand the way they react."

It was suggested on Channel Nine that the way Christensen reacted to the head knock - lying flat on the ground with his arms raised above his chest - was the type of "involuntary" pose associated with players who had been knocked out. But Scott said he had been told that Christensen was conscious the entire time.

"I know the pictures look bad, but I'm not necessarily sure that that is involuntary movement," Scott said.

"Allen lying on the ground there, he's been instructed by our doctors - if he gets knocked in the head... they should lie there until they're sure that they are right..

"Allen was conscious the whole time, I'm told, and [he] was speaking to [teammate] James Kelly. The fact that he wasn't moving sometimes can be a bit deceiving."

Scott was asked whether the medical staff would have been more likely to wait longer before checking Christensen for concussion had the incident occurred earlier in the game, and the Cats had still been able to activate their substitute while Christensen was being cleared.

He said the coaches never spoke to the medical staff about those decisions.

"It's completely in the hands of the medical department, and specifically the doctors, and they tell us whether he is right to go or not," Scott said.

"If we say to the doctors, 'come on, use the concussion sub' and he's not concussed, then it's their reputation that's on the line. So those discussions are just not had."

This story Cats welcome query into action on Christensen head knock first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.