Following Senegal’s Sadio Mane’s head injury in their AFCON win over Cape Verde, medical expert assigned to the competition feels the Senegal’s medical team deserved the benefit of the doubt for allowing Liverpool star to continue playing after suffering a head injury.
In the second half, Mane collided with Cape Verde goalkeeper Vozinha while chasing down a kick from Edouard Mendy, leaving both players severe head injuries.
Vozinha was knocked out and wandered about the field for a few minutes before being persuaded to leave by his teammates, and VAR gave him a red car for the incident.
After obtaining medical attention, Mane was allowed to return to the field and scored a spectacular goal in the 62nd minute to give Senegal the lead.
Mane, however, dropped to the ground as he celebrated with his teammates, then left the pitch shortly after, complaining of a headache, and was rushed to hospital.
Liverpool have no reason to be concerned about the forward’s health, according to CAF medical specialist Dr Thulani Ngwenya, because the Reds are in frequent contact with the Senegal camp.
“We have a medical team that is quite capable. Senegal has two highly regarded team physicians “Dr. Ngwenya explained.
“I believe that the team doctors are in charge, therefore they contact with the club, and I assume that they have communicated with Liverpool and have been informed of the situation.
“What I do know is that after transporting Mane to the hospital for further examinations, we scanned his head and found no structural damage, but this does not rule out concussion. I’m convinced that my colleagues are looking after the player, and when I met him in the hospital, he was in high spirits.
“I’m not sure whether he’ll be available for the next match because, based on the protocols, I’m not sure if he’ll be ready, and I can’t make that determination. Only the team doctors who are in charge of him on a daily basis can make that decision.”
Dr. Ngwenya went on to say: “Sadio admitted that he was dizzy when we arrived, but that he wanted to continue because he is a patriotic guy who enjoys playing. But he didn’t realize at the time that dizziness is a sign of concussion, and even if you only have one sign, it’s still concussion, therefore he was severely concussed.
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“Although I am not proficient in French, colleagues attempted to calm the player and explain that if he continued, things might get worse.
“I’ve heard a few people ask why he wasn’t kicked out of the game. The medical evaluation, on the other hand, is based on what you see and assess at the time.
Because the medical team took so much time assessing Mane, it’s possible that during that time the medical team came to the conclusion that it was just a head accident and not concussion because they couldn’t find anything that indicated concussion.
“We must give them the benefit of the doubt since a judgement can be made at one time and then changed two minutes later. However, there were signs of concussion when I arrived, so it was simple for me to make the decision to take the player out of the game.
“Because the player is unable to make a decision due to their confusion, you, as a doctor, must make a decision on their behalf.”
Mane and Vozinha were photographed laughing and giving the thumbs up from the hospital later on Tuesday. Mane was eventually released from the hospital and rejoined his teammates at their hotel.