Karius’ concussion in Champions League final

Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius suffered a concussion after clashing with an opposition player – here’s our round-up on the incident.

What happened?

Loris Karius, the 24-year-old Liverpool goalkeeper, collided with Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos early in the second half of the final. Minutes after, he threw the ball into the path of Real striker Karim Benzema, which resulted in the opposition scoring 1-0. Liverpool then equalised but Real scored again. Real scored a third goal when Karius let in a long-range strike from Real’s Gareth Bale. The mistakes were described by commentators as ‘borderline stupidity‘ and Karius was left devastated.

When was concussion diagnosed?

Five days after the match Karius was diagnosed with concussion by doctors in Boston at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. Karius was on holiday in the US and there are rumours he went to hospital following concerns from his club (Liverpool FC has not commented on the incident). On Monday 4 July the hospital doctors issued a statement on Karius, which concluded Karius sustained a concussion during the match on May 26 2018. It said: “Mr. Karius’s principal residual symptoms and objective signs suggested that visual spatial dysfunction existed and likely occurred immediately following the event. Additional symptomatic and objectively noted areas of dysfunction also persisted. It could be possible that such deficits would affect performance.” The doctors reported significant and steady improvement since the concussive event and said they expect him to make a full recovery.

What’s everyone saying about the game and the concussion?

There’s been a mixed response to the diagnosis. As reported by Sky News, Peter McCabe, Headway’s chief executive, expressed concerns over the time taken to diagnose the concussion and the fact Karius was not examined on the pitch. Writing for I news, David Preece, correspondent and former footballer, wrote: “The disgraceful reaction to Loris Karius’ concussion diagnosis highlights football’s appalling ignorance of head injuries.” Criticism has been raised of those saying concussion is being used as an excuse. One BBC article reported that former England striker Chris Sutton said BBC Radio 5 live: “I don't really see the point in coming out and saying this as people will inevitably say he is making an excuse, which it may well be. “I think it should have been kept under wraps.” The BBC has written several pieces on the concussion including one looking at how Karius played on. This thorough article includes comments from British neurosurgeon Dr Willie Stewart, an expert on head injuries in sport who is carrying out studies in this subject. Headway, Stewart and other brain injury experts were also mentioned in a Telegraph article, calling for football to urgently overhaul their medical protocols. Karius is due to return to pre-season training with Liverpool on 2 July.
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