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Chelsea unhappy over Oscar injury criticism

Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Since Oscar didn't do anything particularly memorable after getting wiped out by David Ospina at the Emirates last month, the climactic moment of the Brazilian's season will be that awful first-half collision. Most Chelsea fans were surprised that he wasn't taken off immediately, few complained when Dr. Willie Stewart, a new member of the FA's concussion panel, deemed the club's response to what looked like a serious head injury 'unacceptable'. Life moved on, we won the Premier League, and all was well.


[Oscar] didn't have a head injury. He had a shock, (a) strong contact with Ospina. It was not a head injury. The medical department were fantastic with the treatment they gave him, in the decision to bring him out (of the game).

-Jose Mourinho. Source: Sky.


Chelsea were unimpressed to read Dr Stewart’s subsequent comments about the collision with Ospina, and the implied criticisms of the conduct of their medical department, and believe they contravene General Medical Council guidelines given he had judged the case without being party to any of the clinical facts. They will argue to the FA that his willingness to comment effectively amounts to inappropriate conduct.

-The Guardian.

Which is all a bit weird, because as far as I can tell the furore over Oscar's injury lasted until the media found something even shinier to latch onto. It's a dead issue, so why are Chelsea reviving it?

It's made weirder by the ambiguity of the situation. The club is correct in pointing out the follies of remote diagnosis, but when Mourinho says that Oscar didn't even sustain a head injury, I find the official account difficult to believe. The Premier League concussion protocol is going to be a major talking point over the next few years, and while nobody should complain about that -- not having players' brains scrambled can only be considered a good thing -- it will lead to situations in which dogma takes precedence over evidence.

I'm not going to blindly support Chelsea here, but at the same time I'm only too aware that the medical staff saw what happened with Oscar and I didn't. Talking rationally about this kind of problem is almost impossible with so little evidence, and I think as a fan my best bet is to shrug and say I don't and can't know whether mistakes were made.

Which doesn't really answer why the club is going on the offensive now. I wonder what we have up our sleeve?

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