Monday 1 May 2017

GAA getting message through on concussion

At least four players in Division 1 alone have been withdrawn during matches suffering from concussive symptoms and have missed the following weekend’s match as a consequence. Stock photo: Sportsfile
At least four players in Division 1 alone have been withdrawn during matches suffering from concussive symptoms and have missed the following weekend’s match as a consequence. Stock photo: Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

The message on concussion has been resonating stronger in Gaelic games in recent years but really seems to have hit home in recent weeks if the evidence in the opening rounds of the Allianz Football League is anything to gauge by.

At least four players in Division 1 alone have been withdrawn during matches suffering from concussive symptoms and have missed the following weekend's match as a consequence.

Shane Enright was stretchered off on the opening weekend after a collision with Donegal's Michael Murphy, subsequently missing the visit of Mayo to Tralee six days later.

Roscommon's David Murray picked up a similar injury during the opening-round league game with Tyrone and sat out the following weekend against Donegal. In the same match Mattie Donnelly lasted 15 minutes before being withdrawn and he sat out the trip to Croke Park to play Dublin six days later.

withdrawn Monaghan's Darren Hughes was withdrawn against Kerry in the third round and wasn't involved for last weekend's defeat to Tyrone.

"The message has been getting through for quite a while," said Ger Ryan, chairman of the GAA's medical, scientific and welfare committee. "I'd be very happy with the approach taken by doctors and managers in relation to this. Since one of the early league matches last year I don't think there has been any questions around concussion."

That incident saw Mayo's Lee Keegan remain on the field after a collision with Eoin Cadogan that had, it subsequently emerged, left him concussed. TV cameras showed Keegan in a disorientated state as he left the field but Mayo acknowledged that he should have been withdrawn and he missed the following weekend's clash with Dublin.

"It requires a medical diagnosis to return and adherence to the return-to-play protocol. The GAA doesn't specify a specific stand-down period for adults. That's a matter for them to decide with their medical adviser," said Ryan.

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