Tottenham medical staff branded 'disgusting and pathetic' for Jan Vertonghen treatment
The Tottenham Hotspur medical staff's treatment of stricken defender Jan Vertonghen has been blasted by former US international Taylor Twellman.
Vertonghen was left covered in blood following a collision with both his teammate Toby Alderweireld and Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana during the 31st minute of Tuesday night's Champions League semi-final first leg clash in north London.
After being treated by medical staff as he lay prone on the turf, Vertonghen was taken to the side of the pitch, only to then return to the action after being given the green light by both the staff and referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz.
However, only a few moments later Vertonghen was unable to continue as he struggled to keep his balance and had to be held onto by staff. He was eventually replaced by Moussa Sissoko in the 39th minute.
BT Sport reported that the defender underwent tests with specialists in the dressing room at half-time, although given how groggy he looked there were many who claimed he appeared to be concussed, including ESPN television pundit Twellman.
The former New England Revolution forward won 30 caps for the USA, but he saw his career end prematurely in 2010 when he was found to still be suffering the effects of a head injury he sustained in a collision with Los Angeles Galaxy goalkeeper Steve Cronin in 2008.
Twellman's concussion wasn't diagnosed properly, and after playing for the remainder of that season he would only play twice in 2009.
Since retirement Twellman has created the THINKTaylor foundation, which is aimed at supporting those with sports-related concussions and improving the treatment of them.
Following the Vertonghen incident, Twellman tweeted: "Vertonghen under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should have been allowed to come back onto the field.....DISGUSTING PATHETIC demonstration from Tottenham medical staff!"
BT Sport's pundits discussed the incident after the match, with former Tottenham midfielder Edgar Davids claiming it was "scary" to see Vertonghen in such a condition when he left the pitch.
Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, former Aston Villa forward Dion Dublin also broached the incident.
"I had so much concussion during my career," he said. "You have to stay still and do exactly what you are told,”
"Going back on the pitch was incredibly risky for Jan Vertonghen because if there was any challenge near him, it could have been terrible,”
"If the player is saying he is OK, it is difficult for a medical professional to say 'no you cannot go back on'."
The incident is sure to raise the question of the concussion protocol in football, which has been under review in recent years.
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