Concussed Toomua needs 'time and rest'

Wed, 31 Aug 2016 11:05
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REACTION: Matt Toomua's worrying history of concussion could sideline him for the rest of the Rugby Championship.

The Wallabies management has wisely decided to protect him to avoid long-term after-effects.

The experienced centre will miss the Tests against South Africa and Argentina in September and could also be out of the two return Tests in October.

Toomua's recent concussion against the All Blacks in Sydney in Round One was his fourth in the Rugby Championship in three seasons.

The Brumbies and Wallaby centre missed almost two months in 2014, after suffering back-to-back head knocks and couldn't remember passing a cognitive sideline test.

"I had headaches and some memory loss but it's comforting from my point of view that the focus on head knocks and player welfare led to officials making the decision not to let me back on," Toomua told Fairfax Media.

"It's a huge credit to the referee for recognising that and then the officials on the sideline as well."

However, according to former Wallaby flank, David Croft time and rest could be the only solution to help Toomua in regaining his strength.

Croft said there wasn't really a way to tell whether this would result in long-term damage for Toomua.

"They can refer to doctors for sign and symptoms. That's the interesting thing about these concussions and it's really hard to ascertain that is being caused," Croft said.

"The damage now the symptoms may gradually disappear over the next period but who's to stay if that's going to really come back and bite the person."

Croft, who is an ambassador for the Queensland Brain Institute, said Toomua's move to change his tackling technique was never going to be a failsafe solution.

"You can do a bit of that, but can't prevent a lot of this stuff and freak accidents - you can't prevent that," he said.

"There are some proactive measures to prevent them but you don't want to change the game.

"It's not going to be determined until there's research into traumatic brain injury can establish a biomarker or blood test to say this person has incurred this kind of damage and requires this kind of recovery."

Source: Fairfax Media

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