LONDON • Loris Karius' calamitous performance in the Champions League final defeat by Real Madrid could have been a result of concussion, a doctor who assessed the Liverpool goalkeeper in Boston has said.
Liverpool sent Karius for a head scan at Massachusetts General Hospital last Thursday amid concern at his reaction to a collision with Real's captain, Sergio Ramos.
The 24-year-old made two major errors that contributed to Real's 3-1 victory. The first presented Karim Benzema with the opening goal and came soon after he received a blow to the head from Ramos as they challenged at the near post.
Karius then allowed Gareth Bale to put the contest beyond Liverpool with a long-range shot that squirmed through his hands.
The German flew to the US on holiday after the final but Liverpool's medical department was sufficiently concerned about the impact of Ramos's challenge that it arranged a scan in Boston.
Karius had a consultation with Dr Ross Zafonte, an authority on head-trauma injuries suffered by NFL players and the chief of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Massachusetts General Hospital.
A statement released on Monday by the hospital on Dr Zafonte's behalf and with the player's permission confirmed that Karius had been concussed.
THE SCIENTIFIC VIEW
His principal residual symptoms and objective signs suggested that visual spatial dysfunction existed and likely occurred immediately following the event... It could be possible that such deficits would affect performance.
ROSS ZAFONTE, chief of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Massachusetts General Hospital, on the possible effects of the concussion Loris Karius suffered.
SIDETRACKING FROM A POOR SHOW
I don't really see the point in coming out and saying that because people inevitably will say he's using that as an excuse, which it may well be.
CHRIS SUTTON, former England striker and BBC pundit, criticising the move to reveal the concussion following the goalkeeper's much-lampooned performance.
It read: "After carefully reviewing game film and integrating a detailed history - including his reported present and immediate post-contact subjective symptoms - physical examination and objective metrics, we have concluded that Mr Karius sustained a concussion during the match.
"At the time of our evaluation, Mr Karius' principal residual symptoms and objective signs suggested that visual spatial dysfunction existed and likely occurred immediately following the event.
"Additional symptomatic and objectively noted areas of dysfunction also persisted.
"It could be possible that such deficits would affect performance."
The statement added that the condition of the 24-year-old had improved since the incident.
BBC Sport pundit Chris Sutton, however, did not agree with the concussion being made public.
"It maybe would have been better for him to keep that to himself," Sutton said on BBC Radio 5 Live.
"What happened, happened. He did play, he stayed on the pitch. But concussion is a very serious thing.
"But I don't really see the point in coming out and saying that because people inevitably will say he's using that as an excuse, which it may well be. But I think it should have been kept under wraps."
THE GUARDIAN, REUTERS