• Premier League

Mourinho defends decision to allow Courtois to play on

ESPN staff
October 6, 2014
Premier League player ratings: Chelsea

Jose Mourinho has defended the decision to allow Thibaut Courtois to play on after suffering an apparent concussion despite Premier League guidelines recommending an immediate substitution.

Courtois stayed on the pitch for nearly 14 minutes after seeming to be knocked out when his head collided with Alexis Sanchez's thigh during the first half of Chelsea's 2-0 win over Arsenal at Stamford Bridge.

Thibaut Courtois appeared to lose consciousness after colliding with Alexis Sanchez © Getty Images

The goalkeeper was eventually substituted for Petr Cech and taken to hospital after paramedics were reportedly seen rushing to the Chelsea dressing room.

Under the Premier League's newly-introduced Concussion Protocol, club doctors have the final say on substitutions relating to head injuries but it is recommended that any player who loses consciousness should be taken off immediately.

Mourinho said he played no part in the initial decision to keep Courtois on, however, with Chelsea's medical director, Dr Paco Biosca, allowing the goalkeeper to continue after 56 seconds of deliberation.

"On the bench I don't communicate with the doctors," Mourinho said. "I just get decisions. Can he stay? Yes. He has to leave? Okay. There's no time to discuss, no medical qualities to discuss. They said yes at first, then after that no. I was just worried for the kid.

"We have Dr Biosca, the head of the medical department, and he has his people. I just want them to give me a decision."

Chelsea released a statement on their official website on Monday afternoon confirming that Courtois underwent "precautionary tests" on a head injury and was treated for a "minor cut" to his ear.

The statement also said Courtois was released from hospital last night and that he is expected to join up with Belgium for their Euro 2016 qualifiers against Andorra and Bosnia-Herzegovina during the international break.

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