Lamont: Medics are risking players' lives
May 10, 2014
Florian Fritz picked up a sickening injury on Friday © Getty Images
Ex-Scotland and Toulon winger Rory Lamont said the incident surrounding Florian Fritz was "bewildering" and medics are risking player's lives if they fail to take concussion seriously.
Fritz sustained what looked to be a serious injury the first-half of Toulouse's 21-16 loss to Racing Metro on Friday evening. He looked visibly shaken and dazed after his head collided with an opponent's knee and was clearly unsteady on his feet as he was helped off the pitch.
But despite spending 17 or so minutes off the field, he returned for the final stages of the first-half but was then substituted permanently during the break.
Lamont, who has spoken out over the risks of concussion in the past and also wrote two columns for ESPN on the subject, condemned the incident and called for independent medics to take the pressure off teams' medical staff.
"In terms of all the signs and symptoms of an obvious concussion, that was as bad as it gets," Lamont told ESPN. "To see him come back on after that is just bewildering. It is difficult to tell what went on without speaking to those involved but there is a standard process where medics are put under huge pressure to get a player back on the field."
It appeared there was little attempt to dissuade Fritz from returning to the fray. "It shows, without making too many assumptions, that some people still don't understand how serious concussion is. If you let a player like Florian in that situation come back on the field, you are endangering the life and career of this player by allowing them to return to the field.
"It's shocking to still see incidents like this. This was high profile due to the nature of the match, but those concussions which aren't as dramatic to look at but the player still returns to the field are just as serious. The medics are sometimes stuck in the middle in those situations so what we need are independent medics at the games to intervene and take the hit out of the team's medics. It's far too serious to mess around with."
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Tom Hamilton is the Associate Editor of ESPNscrum.
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