A clash of heads between hulking Brighton center back Shane Duffy and Chelsea’s Andreas Christensen left the latter in a fair bit of discomfort early on in the second half of Saturday’s 4-0 win. He was initially allowed to play on after a round of treatment on the sidelines, but after showing further discomfort, he was instructed by the referee to leave the pitch and Chelsea were forced into making a substitution. (David Luiz, making his first league appearance since October came on to replace the young man who’s taken his spot in Conte’s starting lineups.)
The sequence of events has once again brought the concussion conversation and protocol into focus, as it happens every time a player is allowed to play on only to be substituted a few minutes later. Questions about who’s making the decisions, about having enough time to make the decision, about reviewing footage, about neutral observers all need to be asked and not just today, but consistently throughout the season until awareness and emphasis placed on these types of injuries improves.
That said, Chelsea maintain that the protocol, whatever it may be, was followed and Christensen only suffered a contusion (i.e. a bruise) not a concussion.
Medical staff say it was a contusion. Referee sent him off despite him being fine. #BHACHE #CFC— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) January 20, 2018
Chelsea medical staff followed the concussion protocols and found nothing wrong with the young defender. https://t.co/yxFdFr48nx— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) January 20, 2018
The protocol calls for no contact for multiple days and a slow return to action after any concussion, which would’ve ruled out Christensen from Chelsea’s next game. But with Chelsea saying that it’s only a bruise, Christensen should be available to train and play without missing any time.
Antonio Conte has confirmed Andreas Christensen suffered a contusion during the game. He reported he is okay now and will be able to train as usual tomorrow. #BHACHE pic.twitter.com/oNH5CvHrTh— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 20, 2018
That’s undoubtedly good news, both in terms of no concussion and in terms of Christensen being available to play on Wednesday.