Oct 13, 2014

    Courtois defends Chelsea over head injury


    CHELSEA goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has defended the English Premier League leaders' handling of the head injury he suffered during their 2-0 league victory over Arsenal on Oct 5.

    He was injured in an early clash with Arsenal's Chilean forward, Alexis Sanchez, and, despite initially being given clearance to carry on, was replaced by Petr Cech 13 minutes later when his symptoms worsened.

    Headway, a prominent charity that supports those suffering from brain injuries, questioned Chelsea's handling of the situation and whether the EPL's new regulations - which dictate players must be substituted if a concussion is suspected - were adequately adhered to.

    However, Courtois, who played every minute of Belgium's 6-0 Euro 2016 qualifier win against Andorra on Friday, praised the way the club's medical staff handled the situation.

    "The doctor of Chelsea did well, I think," he told Sky Sports.

    "She asked me the questions she needed to ask and I could repeat immediately, so I was feeling well and didn't have to come off.

    "I didn't feel I was knocked out, but I was hit. I didn't have a headache or anything, but, after a few minutes, I felt worse and worse.

    "Then I started to feel a little dizzy and I couldn't see the ball any more, and there was a little blood coming from my ear. Because I saw trouble, I went off.

    "I know you have to be careful, but I was not really knocked out, so I could have carried on if I was not seeing blurry."

    He underwent a series of tests in hospital but was cleared of any serious injury and was able to join his Belgium teammates.

    "I had some neck pains, dizziness and headaches for a few days afterwards. I had neurological tests to see if my brain was responding correctly and, after it was okay, I travelled to Belgium," he added.

    Courtois is expected to start in Belgium's next Euro 2016 qualifier against Bosnia today.