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Lay off club doctors, says Bombers coach Brad Scott

Essendon coach Brad Scott has backed the competence of club doctors across the AFL, saying it's important to "tread carefully" when criticising them.

Melbourne's handling of Christian Petracca has become a hot talking point after the Demons midfielder briefly played on while nursing horrific internal injuries.

Petracca suffered four broken ribs, a lacerated spleen and a punctured lung after copping an accidental knee from Collingwood skipper Darcy Moore during the King's Birthday clash on June 10.

The 28-year-old was allowed back on the field after an assessment by Demons medical staff, but the pain became so intense that he was subbed out of the game and taken to hospital by ambulance.

The first scan only showed some cracked ribs, but a secondary scan revealed the true extent of the damage - likened to that of a car crash.

Petracca spent several days in ICU and has already been ruled out for the rest of the season.

Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin defended the club's handling of the situation, saying internal injuries are hard to pick up and it wasn't until after the game the seriousness of the injury started to become apparent.

Scott has full faith in the club doctors around the league, saying they are there to protect the player to the best of their abilities.

"I think doctors are in an incredibly difficult position where they've got to make judgements, and they're the best people to make those judgements," Scott said on Thursday.

"I can't speak highly enough of our doctors, but I think it goes right across the competition - we've got outstanding medical professionals in those roles that make those calls.

"I can only speak from my experience, but I don't have a conversation with our doctor in regard to whether a player is right to come back on the ground or not.

"He makes that decision in isolation. I just get a 'yes' or a 'no'. There is no discussion.

"I think we've got to tread very, very carefully when non-medical professionals are questioning medical professionals."

Meanwhile, Essendon will be aiming to bounce back from their pre-bye losses to Gold Coast and Carlton when they host lowly West Coast on Sunday.

The Bombers sit fourth with an 8-4-1 record, giving them an excellent springboard to lock away a top-four berth in the second half of the season.

"All we've done is created an opportunity for ourselves in the first half of the year," Scott said.

"I think there's huge risk in speculating and dreaming about what's possible. I think you can have an awareness of what's possible, but if you take your eye off the ball for a second in this competition you get exposed."