- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 6, 2016

NORTHAMPTON, England (AP) - Wales winger George North is at the center of another concussion controversy in rugby that is highlighting the limitations of technology available to doctors to assess head injuries.

North, who has suffered a series of concussions over the past two years, was cleared by doctors to continue playing in a match for Northampton against Leicester in the English league on Saturday, despite replays suggesting he had been knocked out following a tackle.

Northampton’s medical staff used a Head Injury Assessment on North before allowing him to return to the field.

However, the club said Tuesday that doctors did not have access to full television footage of the incident at the time, adding: “If evidence suggesting a loss of consciousness had been available to the medical team at the time of assessment, George would not have been allowed to return to the field of play.”

An independent expert is reviewing the incident. Northampton said North will not play again until that process is complete.

“The medical team can only base their decisions on the evidence available to them at the time of assessment,” Northampton said in a statement.

The club said TV viewers often have a fuller range of replay angles than doctors on the sideline.

“Northampton Saints is seeking to work with all parties to improve the availability of all footage that may assist team medics with injury management,” the statement added.

The BBC reported late Tuesday that a Concussion Management Review Group was assessing the incident, and could decide to issue a warning or recommend a misconduct charge against the club or an individual.

North suffered three concussions on club and international duty between November 2014 and March 2015, forcing him to spend time away from the game on two separate occasions. One of those knocks to the head came while playing for Wales against England in the Six Nation in February 2015, with the winger playing on despite being knocked unconscious.

Northampton said North “remains well” after the latest incident.

World Rugby, the sport’s governing body, has made the handling of concussions a priority in recent years.

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