Posted on February 12, 2010 · Posted in Brain Injury

Interestingly, this week I attended a sport and concussion lecture where both the doctor who was giving the lecture and one of the attendees both had daughters who were soccer goalies. Both had had problems with repeat concussions, from getting kicked in the head.

Not attending such lecture, but perhaps noticing all the press about concussions and the NFL, is the captain of the U.S. Women’s national soccer team, who announced today that she is taking an indefinite leave of absence and won’t play in an upcoming tournament in Portugal.

Lori Chalupny, a 26-year-old St. Louis native, said she is taking a respite to deal with concerns regarding concussions, so she won’t be at the Feb. 24 Algarve Cup.

“I am taking some time off so I can get some additional testing done for these concussion-related issues,” Chalupny said in a statement released Thursday by the St. Louis Athletica of Women’s Professional Soccer, the team she plays for.

“I need to go through this now to ensure my health for the future. I certainly don’t like the idea of missing a tournament like the Algarve Cup, or missing any time with Athletica,” Chalupny said. “I just need to get some rest and take care of issues.”

The Athletica’s training camp starts March 1.

Chalupny took a time out for four months in 2006 after sustaining a concussion while playing in a tournament in China. She was accidentally kicked in the head by a player in a game against France at the Four Nations tournament in China.

During the U.S. soccer team’s opening match against Norway in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Chalupny was accidentally punched in the jaw. She was benched the rest of that game, but played in subsequent Olympic games. The U.S. team won a gold medal.

Chalupny was also a member of the 2007 U.S. Women’s World Cup team.

Rest and no return to play are always the safest course with sport concussion. How long and how many concussions begin to leave cumulative disability, is still unknown. That is why we strongly believe in continuous testing until complete resolution of symptoms before returning an athlete to play. The harder challenge is how to make these determinations with accidental concussion, where there is less risk of a repeat blow to the head, but perhaps a greater risk of long term consequences.

About the Author

Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice :: 800-992-9447