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FFA to review Brattan concussion scare

NZN 31/12/2016 Emma Kemp

Football Federation Australia will review Luke Brattan's New Year's Eve head knock to determine whether A-League concussion protocols had been adhered to.

Concussion procedure was thrown under the spotlight in Melbourne City's 2-2 draw with Central Coast, where Brattan apparently returned to the pitch against the wishes of the match-day doctor.

Brattan was left prone on the turf on Saturday night after his head appeared to hit Mickey Neill's hip with force early in the second half in Gosford.

Though City had since cleared the 26-year-old midfielder of concussion, all did not look well as he underwent medical treatment for several minutes before being helped up and over to the sideline.

As the team continued the game with 10 men, there seemed to be a debate between a visibly dazed Brattan, the team doctor provided by hosts the Mariners and a member of City's medical staff.

Fox Sports' sideline reporter Glen Lauder said he overheard the trio's conversation.

"(The doctor) got him to do a test," Lauder said during the commentary.

"She wasn't happy and didn't want him to go back on, but Brattan assured her he was okay."

The talk ended with Brattan playing out the entire second half, prompting some viewers to question on social media why he'd been allowed to continue.

According to FFA's concussion guidelines, any athlete with a suspected concussion should be "immediately removed from play" and not return until assessed by a qualified medical practitioner.

"Only qualified medical practitioners should diagnose whether a concussion has occurred, or provide advice as to whether the player can return to play," the guidelines state.

"There should be no return to play on the day of a concussive injury."

A City spokesperson confirmed on Sunday that Brattan had been examined by a doctor in the hours after the match, allaying concerns over concussion and potential whiplash.

Concussion testing can be a difficult and somewhat subjective area, but FFA will scrutinise Brattan's state before and after his return to the pitch in a bid to ascertain whether the decision was correct.

"As part of our normal game review, when concussion protocols are tested, the FFA will consult with the FFA medical officer and the medical professionals at Melbourne City to ensure the right outcomes were arrived at in line with the protocol," A-League boss Greg O'Rourke said.

City coach John van `t Schip said Brattan would not have returned to the pitch had he not been well enough.

"They decided he could continue and Lukey himself said he was okay, so that's why he stayed on," said van `t Schip.

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