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Why Rooney has made the right choice in skipping England World Cup duty
Head injuries in a contact sport like football happen, there's nothing new there.
It's often the case that even from the most innocuous of collisions, the player should miss the rest of the current game and even the next one just to be safe.
Notice I used the word should: there are lots of perfectly valid medical and even legal implications to work with when it comes to head injuries How crazy that this week Wayne Rooney has had to go to the extent of showing the world the nature of his head injury just to prove that he's not faking his absence from an England game.
Sometimes an injury to a player on the world stage like Rooney can be helpful to people involved in grassroots sports. It raises your awareness of the injury and it may even spark a discussion in your team about what you would do to avoid it, or just as important, how you could recoginise it to stop it getting worse.
But this particular injury, I don't think the media attack or questioning of Rooney's injury is doing anyone any favours.
Head injuries area a serious business. Any attempt to dilute that fact could see someone could pay with their life.
So watching the news and hearing the rumor mill this week that Rooney is using his injury to dip out of an England international is concerning. It belittles the seriousness of his problem.
How about a situation where a player takes advice from the expert medical team around him, likely to include some of the best in the world, refuses to take chances with the most important part of his body, decides not to risk the health of other players around him if his cut opens and risks his blood coming into contact with other players? Not to mention the risk of further complications such as blood clotting which can lead to a heart attack or a stroke.
Is a decision like that too simple for people to get these days? Or have we left that world behind in favour of one full of irrational and hysterical rules?
And having just read the list of consequences of getting a decision like that wrong, hopefully you can now see why Rooneys decision to skip a game as important as a World Cup qualifier, should actually be praised.
And it's one that if I were the coach of a team or involved in any form junior sport this weekend, I'd be openly talking about to my players and making them aware of what a sensible decision has been made.
Never take chances with your health. It's a saying I use a lot to my own friends and family.
Working in a medical environment day in day out, I see people taking lots of them.
You should know that there are rules and a safety protocol that you need to follow if you or a player suffers a head injury. Even the slightest of cuts or a nick in the same area that Rooney has suffered could be a problem. Because that part of the head has a very strong blood supply and means that it's difficult to stop.
But then you've got to be aware of the internal damage that could be done from a head injury. If you're concussed or dazed following a head injury, you need to follow that protocol.
I've known players in the professional game be instantly held back by a doctor for at least two weeks from any form of competitive or physical exertion because of the potential damage.
But those protocols for how you deal with head injuries change depending up age and symptoms. It's probably beyond the scope of this column for me to give you the specifics.
I feel Rooney has done a few grassroots sports teams a favour by highlighting the need to never take a chance when it comes to a head injury. If you're unsure what to do, now might be the time to brush up on the steps you'd need to take if you had to deal with one.
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