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AVB Criticized for Keeping Knocked-Out Lloris in Game
Reuters, November 4th, 2013 1:28PM

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Tottenham coach Andre Villas-Boas has drawn criticism for his decision to leave goalkeeper Hugo Lloris on the field after he suffered a head injury in a collision with Everton striker Romelu Lukaku on Sunday. The French keeper’s head collided with Lukaku’s knee in the 78th minute of Spurs’ 0-0 Premier League draw at Goodison Park, leaving him unconscious. It seemed as though Lloris was going to be carried off on a stretcher to be replaced by American Brad Friedel, but after a four-minute delay, he decided to continue playing, and AVB left him on the field.

Luke Griggs, a spokesman for Headway, a brain injury charity, was outspoken in his criticism of that decision: "When a player -- or any individual -- suffers a blow to the head that is severe enough for them to lose consciousness, it is vital they urgently seek appropriate medical attention,” he said, adding: “a physio or doctor treating a player on the pitch simply cannot accurately gauge the severity of the damage caused to the player's brain in such a setting as there may be delayed presentation of symptoms. By continuing to play, the player may have caused greater damage to his brain. He should have been removed from the game immediately and taken to hospital for thorough tests and observation."

After the game, Villas-Boas said: "[Lloris] doesn't remember it so he lost consciousness. It was a big knock but he looked composed and ready to continue. Hugo seemed assertive and determined to continue and showed great character and personality. We decided to keep him on based on that. The call always belongs to me. Brad [Friedel] was ready to come in but the person Hugo is, there were enough signs for him to continue."

Griggs responded by saying that AVB’s comment about Lloris’ ‘great character and personality’ is “simply wrong and dangerous.” 

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