Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Hartley: Another concussion could end my career

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 27 May 2016


England captain Dylan Hartley would consider calling time on his career if he was to suffer another concussion before next season.

A collision with Billy Vunipola in Northampton’s Premiership meeting with Saracens in November resulted in Hartley being concussed and he sustained another following a blow to the head in England’s Six Nations victory over France in March.

The hooker has since only played one competitive match and he admitted that a repeat incident in the Test against Wales or tour to Australia would make him seriously consider his future.

“If I got another [concussion] now I would be worried,” said Hartley.

“I would probably start looking at other careers or maybe a long layoff. Maybe I [need to] look at my tackling technique, too.

“But it’s not something I fear. It is something you deal with when it happens. I won’t go into the weekend worrying about it and feel strong and fit. I feel confident in my head and have tested it out a few times.”

It was difficult for Hartley to find motivation during his recovery, adding that becoming a father has given him a fresh perspective.

“I couldn’t run, I couldn’t do anything. It was lethargy, constantly wanting to sleep,” said the captain.

“I had no urge to get on the bike. I almost tried forcing myself to get on and I just said ‘I can’t be bothered’, so I went back to lie on the couch and went to sleep.

“There’s no lying in your recovery. I had a constant reminder of that every time you see your kid and you think ‘if I hit my head again, what’s that going to mean?’

“Three in one season would warrant a bit of time off and I probably would take a step back and have a minute.”



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