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Arteta Defends Arsenal’s Treatment on David Luiz

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02 Dec 2020
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Mikel Arteta insists all the correct protocols were followed after the Brazilian, David Luiz suffered a head injury against Wolves.

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Luiz suffered a badly-cut forehead in a horrific clash of heads with Raul Jimenez that left the Wolves striker with a fractured skull.

Jimenez was immediately rushed to the hospital where he underwent surgery, while Luiz was initially able

to continue playing despite blood seeping through his bandage.

The Brazilian was eventually substituted at half-time, but the incident raised fresh concerns over how football deals with head injuries and concussions.

The Gunners were criticized in some quarters for not taking Luiz off sooner and therefore potentially putting his health at risk.

Arteta, however, has strongly defended the actions of his medical team and insists all the correct concussion protocols were followed.

“Some people can have the perception whether he should have continued or not,” he told reporters.

“Thankfully we have one of the leading authorities in this country [on concussion], which is Gary O’Driscoll – who is our doctor and has massive experience, not only in football but rugby as well.

“And he knows exactly what to do. He did all the testing, he followed all the protocols and we were very comfortable for him [Luiz] to carry on playing.

“But obviously you have to make a decision in one minute when somebody is bleeding when you have someone with a massive concussion next to you – whose life is under threat.

“Maybe it is a moment that we can think to give these people a little bit more time and use a temporary substitution, for example, if we don’t want to find ourselves in those positions.

“But what I can tell you is everything [on Sunday] was done in the right manner.”

The introduction of concussion substitutes has been suggested as a potential solution to safeguard the safety of players who suffer a head injury.

It would allow a manager to temporarily replace an injured player and so give doctors more time to properly assess their condition, while not forcing the team to continue without their full complement of players.

It is certainly a rule Arteta believes should be considered by the Premier League.

“If you have any doubts at any moment and you need an extra two minutes or five minutes to check somebody – maybe we can think about that,” he said.

“Because, obviously, you are after five minutes to make a decision to find a sub, the player is really pushing you, he is talking about everything.

“David was constantly asking about Raul, he went to see Raul and he was totally conscious, all the time, about the situation.

The player wants to carry on playing and the doctor has to tick all the necessary boxes to be certain another player is okay to continue.

“So, if we have any extra doubts, okay we give them a little bit more time than necessary but you cannot play 10-15 minutes with 10 men in football.”

Arteta also revealed Luiz could return against Tottenham in the north London derby on Sunday.

It has already been confirmed that the former Chelsea defender is to miss Thursday’s Europa League’s game against Rapid Vienna to give his cut more time to heal.

He added: “I think he will be fit to play if the scar is healing properly and he is comfortable heading the ball then there shouldn’t be any problems.”

 

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