Headway question Aston Villa's handling of John McGinn's head injury

Aston Villa’s handling of John McGinn’s head injury questioned after he played on for 34 minutes following collision with Michael Keane, before eventually being taken off complaining of dizziness

  • Headway have questioned Aston Villa’s handling of John McGinn’s head injury
  • McGinn was a 40th-minute concussion substitute in Villa’s 3-0 win over Everton
  • Dean Smith said the Scotland international told staff he felt ‘dizzy’ in the game
  • Aston Villa believe they followed the correct head injury protocol at all times
  • Villa’s doctors assessed McGinn and said he was fit to play until their final check 

Brain injury charity Headway have questioned Aston Villa’s handling of John McGinn’s head injury, with the midfielder set to miss their Carabao Cup clash with Chelsea due to concussion.

McGinn was a 40th-minute concussion substitute in Villa’s 3-0 win over Everton on Saturday, with manager Dean Smith saying the Scotland star told staff he felt dizzy during the game.

Headway chief executive Peter McCabe said in the case of head injuries, players should not be allowed to determine whether they can play on, and that temporary concussion substitutes — when a player is replaced for 10 minutes while he is assessed in private — should be introduced.

Brain injury charity Headway questioned Aston Villa’s handling of John McGinn’s head injury

McGinn will not play at Stamford Bridge under the FA’s ‘return to play’ guidelines that demand a six-day absence for a head injury.

‘The way in which this incident played out does not look good,’ said McCabe. ‘A player sustained a clear blow to the head after just six minutes. Around 30 minutes later, the player himself is asking to be removed because, according to his own manager, he felt dizzy — a clear sign of concussion.’

The FA’s concussion protocols read: ‘At all levels in football, if a player is suspected of having a concussion they must be immediately removed from the pitch, whether in training or a match.’

McGinn (right) was a 40th-minute concussion substitute in Villa’s 3-0 win over Everton

Boss Dean Smith said the Scotland international told staff he felt ‘dizzy’ during the game

Villa say they followed the correct head injury protocol at all times. It is understood the Premier League, after discussions with the club, will not be investigating further. Villa’s doctors had assessed McGinn throughout and determined he was fit to play until their final check, which resulted in his substitution.

McGinn had collided with Everton defender Michael Keane after six minutes and fell to the floor, holding his face. After assessment, it was thought he had hurt his left cheekbone.

In the 19th minute, McGinn was further treated by doctors and deemed fit to continue. He appeared to take pills before the medical team left the pitch.

Villa say they followed the correct head injury protocol at all times following the incident  

Villa’s doctors (above) had assessed McGinn throughout and determined he was fit to play until their final check, which resulted in his substitution

Then in the 38th minute, after a challenge with Demarai Gray, McGinn signalled to referee Craig Pawson and was substituted.

McCabe added: ‘The risk of playing on after sustaining a concussion is that a secondary blow to the head can exacerbate the initial injury to the brain. Players should not put themselves, or be allowed to be, at such risk.’

Smith raised doubts as to who had made the decisive call with his comments on Saturday. ‘He got a whack on the head after five minutes,’ the manager said.

‘He felt he was OK to continue. Around about the 26th minute mark, he got another whack on the head I think it was. 

McGinn is now set to miss their Carabao Cup clash with Chelsea (above) due to concussion

‘There was a break in play and he came to alert us to it. Our doctor kept an eye on him but he called it then and went, ‘No, I’m too dizzy’ and went down. Our doctor was on it.’

Meanwhile, Emiliano Buendia is set to make his first appearance for Villa since his quarantine stint. 

Along with goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, Buendia returned from an enforced 10-day stay in Croatia after spending time in countries on the UK Government’s ‘red list’ during the recent international break while playing for Argentina.




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