Can Fabian Schar play for Newcastle United against Burnley? Concussion protocols explained

Newcastle United defender Fabian Schar was forced off during Monday night’s 2-0 win over Arsenal and is a doubt for Sunday’s final day match at Burnley (4pm kick-off).

Thursday, 19th May 2022, 1:00 pm

What happened to Fabian Schar against Arsenal?

United head coach Eddie Howe was forced to make a concussion substitution following Schar’s collision with Arsenal forward Eddie Nketiah which left the Swiss international motionless on the ground.

Nketiah received a booking for his challenge as Schar was replaced by Jamaal Lascelles early in the second half.

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Newcastle United's Swiss defender Fabian Schar leaves the pitch injured during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Arsenal at St James' Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England on May 16, 2022. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

While the 30-year-old did get back onto his feet and expressed a desire to play on, the club had to follow concussion protocols as the player appeared to lose consciousness for a brief period.

Protocols require any player showing symptoms of a concussion, as Schar did, to leave the pitch and be replaced by a concussion substitute which doesn’t impact on the three regular substitutions allowed to be made during a normal game. This explains why Newcastle were able to make a total of four substitutions during the game.

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What Eddie Howe said about Schar’s injury

Premier League concussion substitution guidelines.

Following the win over Arsenal, Howe said: “Fabian, I think, is OK. I think he was taken off due to protocols.

"He wanted to stay on. I think it was the right decision [to bring him off].”

The Newcastle boss will provide a further update regarding Schar’s condition in his pre-match press conference on Friday morning.

What do Newcastle United do now?

The club’s medical staff are required to complete a concussion audit form to ensure that the FA’s concussion guidelines for an advanced care setting are followed for Schar’s return to action.

Schar will require a formal clinical assessment and if that assessment reveals no concussive injury then the player will be cleared to return to training under the discretion of Newcastle’s medical team.

The Magpies must also submit Schar’s medical information and a report on additional permanent concussion substitution procedures to the Premier League within seven days of the player returning to playing.

How is a concussion diagnosed?

As a concussion is a brain injury, there is no blood test or scan that can currently diagnose it. Instead, medical professionals conduct an examination and observe the individual’s physical and neurological state to determine the nature of the injury.

Cognitive tests and monitoring the player’s hearing, vision, balance, coordination and reflexes may all be part of the diagnostic process.

If a player suffers a concussion, they should undergo a period of rest from all physical and mental activity while being monitored closely by the club’s medical staff.

Can Schar play against Burnley?

If a clinical assessment reveals no concussive injury then Schar could be cleared to play against Burnley, but this is down to the club’s medical team.

However, if the defender has a concussive injury then FA protocols stipulate that he should not be allowed to return to play for at least six days after the injury.

With the Burnley match taking place within six days of Schar’s withdrawal, he will not be allowed to play the final game of the season unless he is given the 'all clear’ by the club, who must confirm no concussive injury was sustained.

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