After serving a three-match ban for scraping his studs across Robin van Persie's face, Adebayor feared he may be sidelined for even longer because of his controversial celebration against former club Arsenal on September 12.
"When you look at similar cases in the past you could argue that the fine is bigger," said Hughes.
"But we knew there was a chance Emmanuel may have got more games so we are grateful that hasn't happened.
"There is an obligation on players but there is emotion in the moment," said the Welshman.
"Emmanuel apologised straight away but you must look at the degree of things. There was a bit of provocation and that needs to be taken into account."