Arsenal have ruled David Luiz out of Thursday’s Europa League clash with Rapid Vienna due to the cut sustained in Sunday’s sickening clash of heads with Wolves striker Raul Jimenez.
While the Brazilian was deemed fit enough to continue playing, albeit, with a heavily bandaged head, the Mexican was immediately rushed to the hospital and continues to recover from a fractured skull that looks set to sideline him for some time.
The decision to allow Luiz to play through until half time – at which point he was substituted due to discomfort from the cut – has sparked a big debate about football’s treatment of head injuries and the need for concussion substitutes.
Arsenal have been keen to point out that the medical team followed the necessary protocols in assessing Luiz and confirmed that centre-back did not lose consciousness at the time and has shown no signs of concussion in the 48 hours since.
In a statement released this evening, the Gunners also said they are offering support to the 33-year-old who, understandably, has been left shaken up by the episode.
Arsenal’s statement: “Since Sunday, we have received many messages not just from Arsenal fans, but football fans all around the world who have been asking after David. As everyone saw soon after the incident, it is a testament to David that his paramount concern was for the welfare of Raul Jimenez after this accident.
“Together with David, our thoughts and best wishes continue to be with Raul Jimenez and his family, and we hope Raul has a strong recovery. This accident has also been traumatic for David and the club will be giving him all the support he needs during this time.
“Immediately after the accident on Sunday, protocols were completed with David, who thankfully maintained consciousness at all times. Stitches were applied to a cut on David’s forehead pitchside, and a bandage was secured on his head to protect the wound.
“With David showing no signs of concussion, the decision was made for him to continue playing with close monitoring. At half time David was further assessed and it was decided that due to the bleeding and discomfort he was experiencing from the deep cut to his head, that he would be substituted.
“David was visited at home by our club doctor on Monday during the scheduled day off and reported to our training centre on Tuesday. Close care of David’s cut and general monitoring of his wellbeing will continue in the coming days and David continues to be in good health.
“The cut to David’s head will take some days to heal and therefore he will not be available for Thursday’s match. We will continue to closely support and monitor David’s progress.”