When Kent Bazemore landed an elbow on Al Horford’s head, I had an immediate fear that Horford could be in trouble.
It turns out I was right to be afraid, because today, about a day and a half after it happened, Horford started getting concussion symptoms, and is out of tonight’s game
Here’s the play:
Firstly… brain injuries are especially concerning, and ESPECIALLY in guys who’ve suffered them before. Horford’s prior concussion makes repeated brain injuries a worry for his long-term health and well being.
Secondly… this is eerily similar to last year. Almost exactly one year ago, Horford took an inadvertent blow to the head, continued playing (in practice) and it wasn’t until the next day that he felt the symptoms.
He explained what happened after that to the Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach.
For three scary, confusing, and frustrating weeks, he was essentially paralyzed by the unknown while the Celtics plodded along without him. Slight progress was consistently followed by a more severe setback. In an interview with the Globe Tuesday, Horford recounted how a seemingly harmless practice incident evolved into something more harrowing.
“The thing about it was,” Horford said, “the symptoms just kept getting worse.”
Horford initially felt fine after taking a hit during that Monday practice. He completed a photo shoot with the Globe that afternoon and had no issues when he went to practice Tuesday. Late in that session, though, he began to feel woozy and nauseous. He was sent home and entered the NBA’s concussion protocol.
A player in the concussion protocol program can’t return to the floor until the following:
- He is without concussion-related symptoms at rest.
- He has been evaluated by a physician.
- He has successfully completed the NBA return-to-participation exertion protocol.
- A team physician has discussed the return-to-participation process and decision with the Director of the NBA concussion program, Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher.
Ultimately, the decision as to when a player will return will be made by the team physician.
With this in mind, I’d expect this to not be the only game Horford misses but each thing is its own individual case.
Again, the biggest concern here is his long-term health, so we wish him well as he goes through this scary situation again.