Hugo Lloris was not included in Tottenham’s squad to face Newcastle today as the club’s medical staff advised he required more rest after being knocked unconscious last weekend – although the player himself wanted to be involved.
The 26-year-old goalkeeper needed lengthy treatment on the pitch after a collision with Everton forward Romelu Lukaku last Sunday.
Tottenham were criticised by FIFA’s medical chief among others for the decision not to substitute Lloris, yet the club’s medial staff said they were “totally satisfied that he was fit to continue playing”.
The France captain was rested for Thursday’s Europa League win over Sheriff Tiraspol, but manager Andre Villas-Boas claimed afterwards that he would return for the Barclays Premier League clash against Newcastle.
However, Lloris was not included in the squad to face the Magpies as Brad Friedel once again deputised, with Tottenham posting a statement from Wayne Diesel, head of medical services, explaining the absence.
“We’ve continued to monitor Hugo all week and after discussions, Andre and the medical department have agreed to afford the player a couple more days’ rest,” he said.
“Hugo is naturally disappointed as he was keen to return to action however we feel this decision is in the player’s best interest.”
Speaking to Sky Sports ahead of today's match against Newcastle, Villas-Boas said: ``The medical department advised he still needed a couple more days so I would expect him to be back for the (World Cup) play-offs for France.''
Spurs had earlier been accused by a former United States international of endangering the life of Lloris after allowing him to continue against Everton.
The career of Taylor Twellman was ended after he was concussed a seventh time and the 33-year-old, who now campaigns to raise awareness over the damage caused by brain injuries in sport, is staggered by the actions of Tottenham and Villas-Boas.
Twellman insists Spurs “played with Lloris’ life” by putting him at risk of incurring ’second impact syndrome’ – a second successive concussion that can lead to death or severe disability.
“It was ridiculous, but I’m actually grateful for what Tottenham did because it is 100 per cent not the way to handle a concussion,” Twellman told Radio 5 Live’s Sportsweek programme.
“We’re not talking about a career here, they played with Lloris’ life.”
Villas-Boas said on Wednesday that those who criticised the club’s actions over Lloris were “incompetent people” but Twellman added: “Anyone who tells me I’m uninformed or if AVB wants to tell me I’m incompetent, I’m not. Science has shown us there’s no test that can show concussion.
“The fact Tottenham issue a statement after the game saying they went through all the tests on the sideline...
“I watched it live. The trainers stopped Lloris twice to convince him to come off the field. I saw his team-mate Michael Dawson talk to him twice to come off the field.
“Don’t tell me the evaluation as you were trying to convince him to come off the field all of a sudden changes to say he was suited to play the game.
“No human being can see concussion and be 100 per cent certain there’s no concussion.
“If you get a second one while you have that first one, there is something called second impact syndrome. That is often fatal.”
Twellman’s career ended in 2008 when he was punched in the head by a goalkeeper in a Major League Soccer match, played the remainder of the game and the ensuing seven weeks that were left of the season.
The damage to his brain caused by the incident and the previous concussions forced him to retire, however, and now he has difficulty concentrating and must keep his heart rate below 130 beats per minute to avoid crippling headaches.
“My life has never been the same since,” he said.
“I immediately went through testing on the field, they’re supposedly the same tests that Lloris did at Tottenham and those tests don’t work.
“You can’t address a concussion or dramatic brain injury that quickly.
“I don’t blame anyone, but the reality is I did consult doctors and trainers yet stayed in the game and played.
“Why was Lloris on the field? He had been knocked out cold.”