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ANOTHER BLOW TO HEAD AND I MAY QUIT: RORY.

Byline: PAT NOLAN

MEDICAL wisdom may say three strikes and you're out but Rory O'Carroll mightn't even give it that long.

The Dublin full-back penned a letter to a national newspaper in February expressing concern about the fact that Ireland hooker Rory Best was in line to play in the Six Nations against France despite having suffered a concussion against Italy only days before.

s its O'Carroll wrote: "On the IRFU website is its guide to concussion which states: 'Minimum rest period postconcussion: 14 days.

Minimum time-out: 21 days. Graduated return to play: 6 days'.

"Maybe it's just me, but reconciling the word 'minimum' and seeing Rory Best pummel headfirst into countless rucks on Saturday begs the need for clarity."

Yesterday O'Carroll was speaking at the launch of the AIG/JF Dunne Insurance Pupil Protector Plan at Parnell Park.

"There is a gap of 14 days for an amateur and a professional," he explained. "The statement came from Acquired Brain Injury Ireland, from me via them, so the answer was directed back to them.

"I was informed the answer that they received was the [professional player] has superior access to medical care, the highest medical care there is. That was the clarity around why there would be a two-week gap. Whether I believe that's sufficient or whether I think that's good enough, I would have my concerns.

"You can't treat a brain the way you treat a hamstring, you can't give it deep tissue massage to a brain."

O'Carroll suffered the only concussion of his career late in the 2013 All-Ireland final win over Mayo and Dublin were criticised for the fact that he was allowed to finish the game (inset) when a secondary impact could have had disastrous consequences.

"I wouldn't be hugely worried about it. Concussion can happen in anything. "Having said that, I have experienced concussion before. I suppose the experts in Acquired Brain Injury Ireland would say three times is a knockout. If I was to receive another serious concussion, I would very seriously consider continuing playing.

"Your career, I suppose, could be... on average, 10 years is a good one. Out of your life that could be an eighth. I would rather consider my future life to be honest."

O'Carroll is confident that if he was to suffer another concussion, he wouldn't be left on the field as he was previously.

"I believe that wouldn't happen again. I also hear there are proposals being brought to Congress."

WHAT IS CONCUSSION?

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that alters the way your brain functions. Effects are usually temporary but can include headaches and problems with concentration, memory, balance and coordination.

Although concussions usually are caused by a blow to the head, they can also occur when the head and upper body are violently shaken. These injuries can cause a loss of consciousness, but most concussions do not. Because of this, some people have concussions and don't realize it.

CAPTION(S):

SKIPPER Rory O'Carrolll yesterday at Scoil Aine for AIG

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUIR
Date:May 15, 2015
Words:504
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