'Tough for family': Higgins back at Arden St after concussion

Michael Ramsey

Shaun Higgins has returned to North Melbourne after his brutal concussion but a return to AFL action is likely to be at least a couple of weeks away.

The Kangaroos utility was knocked out cold in a sickening collision with Hawthorn's Ryan Burton on Sunday, just hours after his wife gave birth to their first child.

A motionless Higgins was taken from the field on a motorised stretcher after Burton bumped Higgins and inadvertently collected his head.

Looking worse for the wear after having surgery on a badly split lip, Higgins was nonetheless in good spirits on Thursday as he returned to Arden St to watch his teammates train.

"I'm feeling pretty good. Slowly getting better each day so good to get back into the club and see the boys again," Higgins told reporters.

"I don't remember the incident but I've been able to piece together the day now and the build-up. There's a little bit of time that's gone missing but other than that, all good."

Higgins revealed a "distressed" Burton had been in contact via text message to check in and apologise for the accidental head clash.

Shaun Higgins. Pic: Getty

The 30-year-old admits his memories of his wife giving birth to their daughter Rosie earlier in the day were initially "scattered" – a situation not helped by prankster teammate Jack Ziebell suggesting she had given birth to twins.

"It's tough for family, especially tough for my wife because I left her before (the game) and said she'd be able to relax and watch the game," Higgins said.

He remains hopeful of lining up against Sydney next weekend but is long odds to play given he likely won't resume training until midway through next week.

Teammate Ed Vickers-Willis, who was concussed within the same passage of play, trained on Thursday and is listed as a test for Saturday's game against Port Adelaide.

"I'm not too keen to watch that passage of play, including Ed's hit," Higgins said.

AFL match review officer Michael Christian's decision not to penalise Burton sharply divided opinions, with some pundits suggesting the Hawks defender had a lucky escape.

Higgins said he held no bad feelings towards Burton but agreed that there was uncertainty about when it is appropriate to bump rather than tackle.

While Christian and football boss Steve Hocking have reiterated that players are allowed to bump, the Kangaroos veteran is keen for the league to continue to clear up the issue.

"I was under the impression that if you elect to bump and it goes wrong, you'll find yourself in strife," he said.

"Clearly, that's changed a little bit over the last 12 months.

"That's not my worry at the moment. The AFL has got to look at that and I'm sure they will."