A lot of people have been wondering how Jan Vertonghen is doing one day after he was forced off the pitch during last night’s Champions League semifinal loss to Ajax. Vertonghen bashed heads with teammate Toby Alderweireld, was attended to on the pitch bleeding profusely from the nose, was judged ok to return to action, but took himself off again after feeling woozy.
Initial reports from football journalists after the match was that Vertonghen had passed all of his tests for a concussion and that he was feeling fine. A lot of skepticism has surrounded those reports.
The Belgium defender was assessed on the pitch yesterday immediately after the incident with our medical team strictly following Football Association concussion guidelines.
Following testing he was judged to be alert and answered all questions correctly and lucidly, deeming him fit to return to the field of play.
All available video footage was relayed to our on-pitch medical team and they were able to confirm that he had suffered no loss of consciousness.
Jan was immediately withdrawn as a result of the player informing medical staff that symptoms were developing suddenly and that he no longer felt stable standing up.
Tests today have been clear and testing will continue for the next few days. Additionally, as is standard Club policy with certain injuries, we shall also be seeking independent advice and Jan is due to see a neurologist, who specialises in elite athletes, tomorrow. The player has reported no ill-effects today.
— Tottenham Hotspur
The club understandably got a lot of flack for letting Jan go back out onto the pitch, even though he initially passed all of the FA’s concussion protocols. This release seems to try to provide a thorough explanation of the medical staff’s actions last night and to justify its decision process as providing an update on Jan’s health. That’s fine — it’s something that the club should’ve done anyway.
Also importantly, Jan himself (or his social media team at the very least) tweeted that he’s feeling better.
I don’t think we need to rehash the argument over whether or not the concussion protocols in English football are adequate or not. We all have opinions about it. What seems pretty clear is that the club is taking Jan’s safety and health seriously and I can’t imagine that he’ll be cleared to play without full cooperation and the support of the Spurs medical staff.
It certainly sounds like, as scary as his injury looked last night, it could’ve been a lot worse. That’s good news, at least.