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Tottenham defend handling of Vertonghen incident

SoccerNews in Eredivisie 1 May 2019

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Tottenham insist they followed the correct guidelines when Jan Vertonghen sustained a head injury against Ajax, having come under fire for initially allowing the defender to continue in the Champions League semi-final clash.

Vertonghen required extensive treatment after colliding with the back of fellow Belgium international and Spurs team-mate Toby Alderweireld’s head in the first half of Tuesday’s 1-0 loss to the Dutch side in London.

Despite being initially cleared to return to action, Vertonghen had to come off moments later and he needed to be helped from the pitch in worrying scenes, with brain injury charity Headway saying on Wednesday that the incident showed the need for “temporary concussion substitutions”.

However, after Mauricio Pochettino had already defended his club’s doctors, Spurs issued a statement explaining their handling of the situation while also revealing Vertonghen has reported no further issues, though he will still be sent to see a neurologist who specialises in elite athletes.

“Jan Vertonghen has undergone further assessment today after sustaining a head injury in last night’s Champions League semi-final first leg against Ajax,” a Tottenham statement read.

“He also suffered a small cut to his nose that was bleeding heavily.

“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“Jan was immediately withdrawn as a result of the player informing medical staff that symptoms were developing suddenly and that he no longer felt stable standing up.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.”

After the statement was released, former Ajax defender Vertonghen also wrote a message on his Twitter account that said: “Not the way I wanted the game to go last night. Feeling ok today. Thanks to both sets of fans for the positive messages.”

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