New hel­met saved Buck

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - BEN HORNE 2015 ASHES SE­RIES

AUS­TRALIA’S crick­eters are still strug­gling to deal with the death of Phillip Hughes but the lessons learnt from the tragedy saved Chris Rogers at Lord’s.

Rogers’ de­ci­sion to wear a spe­cially- de­signed hel­met pro­duced in the wake of the Hughes tragedy saved the Aus­tralian opener’s ca­reer when he was struck in the head by a Jimmy An­der­son bouncer.

Rogers is strug­gling to over­come re­peated dizzy spells in the af­ter­math of the blow be­hind his ear which was hor­rif­i­cally sim­i­lar to the bouncer that felled Hughes at the SCG in Novem­ber.

But Aus­tralian team doc­tor Peter Brukner yesterday re­vealed that the fall­out could have been much worse had Rogers been us­ing a tra­di­tional hel­met with­out the new foam guard at­tach­ment that pro­tects the back of the neck.

Brukner said the blow at Lord’s was more bru­tal than the one that ruled Rogers out of the West Indies se­ries in Jan­uary. Wear­ing the new hel­met meant Rogers was spared another con­cus­sion that would al­most cer­tainly have forced him into early re­tire­ment.

Brukner said an on- field con­cus­sion test cleared Rogers to con­tinue bat­ting on day two at Lord’s and sub­se­quent tests have backed his as­sess­ment.

“We’ll never know how much dam­age would have been done if it ( the foam guard) wasn’t there, but he cer­tainly be­lieves it helped,” Brukner said.

“Af­ter one par­tic­u­lar ball he walked a lit­tle cir­cle and turned his head a bit and all of a sud­den he had this dizzi­ness sen­sa­tion and the pav­il­ion was mov­ing from side to side.

“I’ve cer­tainly not seen a trau­matic ( bal­ance in­jury) be­fore due to a blow in my time in football and cricket, but they ob­vi­ously do hap­pen and Chris has been a bit un­lucky.

“He’s very pos­i­tive and wants to get out there and keep go­ing again and he’s just much re­lieved that it’s not a con­cus­sion. I think you’ll find over the next year or two that more and more play­ers will start wear­ing the foam guard.’’

The re­ac­tion from the Aus­tralian play­ers was im­me­di­ate, with cap­tain Michael Clarke switch­ing to the foam guard hel­met in the sec­ond in­nings of the Lord’s Test.

Brukner ad­mits the fact a bats­man in cricket can­not be re­placed like a foot­baller can af­fect the thor­ough­ness of the con­cus­sion test.

How­ever, he in­sists Rogers would have been pulled from the field af­ter he was orig­i­nally hit by An­der­son had there been any sign of con­cus­sion.

“If I’m in doubt I will take him off and do the assess­ments they do in football,” he said.

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