Geelong coach Chris Scott has launched a spirited defence of his medical staff after Jeremy Cameron was substituted off in the Cats’ win over Essendon.
Cameron’s hamstring scare was the major talking point after Geelong bounced back from an early four-goal deficit to run out 15. 8. (98) to 8. 9. (57) winners at GMHBA Stadium.
The left-footer was instrumental in the Cats getting back into the match, kicking three goals from as many kicks, before being substituted off in the second quarter.
Cameron’s substitution raised questions over Geelong’s handling of him after he was spotted going through a late fitness test prior to the match, and while Scott admitted his star forward’s condition was “iffy” pre-game, he put full faith in the club’s medical staff.
“I think more than people realise there are really hard decisions that need to be made by the medical staff,” he said.
“He had a bit of tightness there pre-game but they were confident that the right decision was made for him to play.
“I’d like to defend our medical staff as much as possible because they’ve done a fantastic job for us this year and this is one of those really challenging decisions.
“He got a little bit of a cork up near his glute and his tightness was right down low in the hamstring.
“He felt that it was tight and there was no real incident so the medical staff is confident that he hasn’t done a significant injury, but it was just not getting better, so in combination with the knock, the call from the medical staff was that he shouldn’t go on and we approached it in the same way that we approached the decision pre-game.
“We just don’t get involved, they make the call. I don’t mean to put it on them, but it’s the reality of the situation and they’ve got really difficult decisions to make, but they’re the experts. They don’t need to defer to a coach who has no idea what he’s talking about.”
When questioned further about his communication with the club doctors on Cameron’s condition, Scott said reiterated that he had full faith in the medical staff.
“I’ve got so much faith in their ability and their assessment of these things that once they’ve made the decision I just go with it,” he said.
“There wasn’t a split second of hesitation in either situation, either to play him once they declared him fit, then when they decided he was done, we moved on in a split second.”
Scott expressed optimism around Cameron’s condition, indicating that he expected the star forward to train and be ready to face Carlton in Round 17.
While the hamstring injury is Cameron’s third in the calendar year, Scott defended the club’s handling of his soft-tissue concerns.
“We took a long time to bring him back into the AFL team,” he said.
“Whatever the outcome, we’ve put a really good staff together in trying circumstances.
“The one criticism I’ll make, this goes for our conditioning staff as well, is they’re probably overworked and under-resourced with the players we have and the challenges.
“I’ve got so much admiration for them, the hours they put in, the commitment to their job and they’ve got to make these brutally difficult decisions with players.
“The last thing they need is me speculating on what they should or should not have done postgame before I’ve got all the information.”
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