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5 players who returned to action after a serious head injury

Aditya Duse
ANALYST

#3 David Ospina vs Udinese (2019)

David Ospina taken off on a stretcher after collapsing on the pitch.
David Ospina taken off on a stretcher after collapsing on the pitch.

During a Serie A match between Napoli and Udinese on 17th March 2019, Napoli's goalkeeper David Ospina was involved in a heavy collision with Udinese striker Ignacio Pussetto while challenging for a low-cross in the seventh minute of the game.

After being treated by the medical staff, Ospina was able to continue playing with bandaging around his head. But later in the first half, he collapsed and was stretchered off in the 44th minute. The keeper was reported to have lost consciousness for a few minutes. He did regain consciousness and was immediately taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital.

The Colombian underwent a scan after cutting his head and spent the rest of the night under observation before getting an all-clear from the medical staff the next day. The incident once again raised many questions regarding concussion protocols in professional football and whether they are followed strictly.

Ospina was advised to rest for a few weeks before returning to action against Chievo Verona on April 14th.


#2 Fernando Torres vs Deportivo La Coruna (2017)

Fernando Torres suffered a horrific head injury after colliding with an opposition player.
Fernando Torres suffered a horrific head injury after colliding with an opposition player.

Fernando Torres was at the centre of a frightening scene during Atletico Madrid's 1-1 draw with Deportivo La Coruna in a La Liga match in 2017. He was knocked out cold following an aerial collision with an opposition defender.

Torres challenged for the ball in the air and subsequently landed face-first on the turf. His head took a huge blow in a sickening landing that saw him smash the ground with considerable force.

Players from both sides rushed to the striker's aid before Torres was eventually stretchered off the pitch, with a number of his teammates in tears.

Fortunately, Torres was conscious and speaking in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. He underwent a CT scan, and there was seemingly no major lasting damage sustained by him.

Torres was kept under observation for 48 hours before returning to training a week after the collision.


#1 Petr Cech vs Reading FC (2006)

Petr Cech suffered a fractured skull in a league game against Reading FC.
Petr Cech suffered a fractured skull in a league game against Reading FC.

In one of the most frightening incidents of head injury, Chelsea's then goalkeeper Petr Cech suffered a broken skull in a league game against Reading in 2006. The goalkeeper dived to collect a loose ball, but Reading's Stephen Hunt ended up connecting his knee with Cech's head in an attempt to get the ball first.

Cech was soon stretchered off and underwent surgery for a skull fracture. Doctors reported that the incident nearly cost Cech his life.

After originally being told he would be out of football for at least a year, Petr Cech made a miraculous comeback to the Chelsea first team in just three months. The Czech stopper, though, wore a rugby-style head guard before he retired to protect areas of his skull weakened by the collision on that fateful day.


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Edited by Bhargav
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