Football

Chelsea accused of being irresponsible over Thibaut Courtois injury

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Chelsea have been accused of irresponsible behaviour after allowing Thibaut Courtois to play on after suffering mild concussion.

The goalkeeper took a heavy hit to the side of the head in a collision with Alexis Sanchez during Chelsea's 2-0 win over Arsenal. He was allowed to play on for over 10 minutes before blood was seen emanating from his ear.

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Learning lessons

In what could have been a sign of serious injury, Courtois was finally substituted for Petr Cech. The Czech Republic international entered the field with his trademark cap on, reminding everyone of just why Chelsea should have been more cautious.

Cech sustained a serious head injury in a clash with Reading's Stephen Hunt. In 2006, he was rushed to hospital where he was diagnosed with a distressed skull fracture consistent with a serious car crash. He was lucky to survive.

Irresponsible

The scariest detail about Cech's injury is how he appeared ok, crawling off the pitch unassisted to receive treatment before slipping into unconsciousness in the changing room.

Having seen Courtois take a similar blow from Sanchez's knee, Courtois was lucky escape with a serious concussion. For HLN journalist Kristof Terreur, leaving him on was gravely irresponsible.

He said: "It's really irresponsible of the medical staff to let him play. In the Premier League there are strict rules about head injuries and the Blues have experience with them. Consider the Cech injury, and that was much worse."

Relief

Courtois was taken to hospital for precautionary reasons and was later diagnosed with mild concussion. The blood seen coming out of his ear was later put down to a cut sustained in the clash rather than something far more sinister.

Chelsea later confirmed that Courtois stayed over night at the hospital but expect him to be available for the upcoming international break with Belgium.

Courtois tweeted: "Thanks for all the messages! I'm already feeling better. Now I'm resting to be recovered and back on the pitch soon. Great victory yesterday"

Further criticism

Chelsea have also been criticised by brain injury charity Headway.

Headway chief executive Peter McCabe told the BBC it was "hard to understand how a concussion was not suspected".

New Premier League rules, introduced this season, says that players must leave the pitch after suffering a head injury, but this went unrespected at Stamford Bridge.

"The new rules introduced this season were designed to ensure no risks to players' health were taken," McCabe said in a statement.

"They clearly state that 'if there is any suspicion of the player having sustained a concussion, they must be removed from the field of play, and not allowed to return'.
"Bleeding from one or both ears is one of the symptoms that requires an immediate visit to hospital."

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Topics:
Chelsea
Arsenal
Premier League
Thibaut Courtois
Football

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