Sport & brain injury: Parliamentary inquiry to be launched to investigate link


Five members of England’s 1966 World Cup-winning team have been diagnosed with dementia

A parliamentary inquiry into the link between sport and long-term brain injury is being launched on Wednesday.

MPs will consider the links between head trauma and dementia, and how risks can be mitigated.

Last year, Sir Bobby Charlton became the fifth member of England’s 1966 World Cup-winning squad to be diagnosed with dementia.

A number of ex-rugby union internationals are also suing for brain damage.

The Concussion in Sport inquiry, which starts on 9 March, will consider scientific evidence and hear from players and governing bodies.

The inquiry will not consider material involved in ongoing legal proceedings, but will look at potential implications of successful legal action and what impact that could have on sport in the longer term.

Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee chair Julian Knight said: “We will look particularly at what role national governing bodies should be taking and their responsibilities to understand risks involved for players and what actions might be taken to mitigate them.

“We’re seeing a number of cases involving brain injury in sport likely to reach the doors of our law courts and we will also look at the implications for sport in the longer term of any successful legal claim.”

A 2019 study showed footballers were three and a half times more likely to die of neurodegenerative disease than age-matched members of the population.

Last month, former Scotland, Manchester United and Leeds United defender Gordon McQueen was diagnosed with vascular dementia.

Former England and West Brom striker Geoff Astle died of the condition in 2002, and his daughter Dawn is working alongside the Professional Footballers’ Association to help shape the way it cares for former players.

Dr Willie Stewart, the neurosurgeon who led research into football’s links with dementia, has warned the issue is “not just for older-era footballers but modern-era footballers as well”.

Last year heading guidelines were altered in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland to encourage coaches not to practise heading at all in training in children up to primary school age.

In the professional game concussion substitutes are being trialled in the Premier League and FA Cup, while a working group is looking at introducing similar guidelines to the ones set out for children to training.

The Football Association is currently supporting two independently led research studies examining former professional players for early signs of neurocognitive degeneration.

England football manager Gareth Southgate is taking part in the ongoing HEADING study, which works with PFA members aged 50-plus and is being conducted by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

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Super Rugby: Waratahs injury crisis ahead of Brumbies game as captain Jake Gordon to miss up to eight weeks


The Waratahs’ gravest fears have been realised: an injury crisis at the start of the year.

Having said goodbye to their six most experienced players last year — Wallabies captain Michael Hooper (sabbatical, Japan), Waratahs captain Rob Simmons (England), Kurtley Beale (France), Damien Fitzpatrick (retired), Ned Hanigan (Japan) and Tom Robertson (Force) — the Waratahs’ depth was always going to be stretched.

But they will now be without their new captain Jake Gordon, who will miss up to eight weeks after coming off midway through his side’s record 41-7 defeat to the Reds to open the new season last Friday night in Brisbane.

The Waratahs confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that Gordon had syndesmosis to his left foot.

It’s a crushing blow for the Wallabies halfback, whose tryscoring ability and experience was imperative for the Waratahs to stay afloat in their second rebuilding year under Rob Penney.

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One Injury Reported Following Manhattan Manhole Explosions



Multiple manhole explosions were reported in Manhattan early on Sunday, February 28, with at least one person hospitalized for injuries, local media reported. Daniel Gross livestreamed this video on Facebook from E 56th Street at around 7:43 am on Sunday. Power outages were also reported in parts of the city. Storyful has contacted the New York City Fire Department and Con Edison for comment. Credit: Daniel Gross via Storyful

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NRL 2021: Lachlan Croker hamstring injury, hooker replacement, Manly Sea Eales, casualty ward, injuries, return dates


Manly’s hooking stocks have taken a major hit with utility Lachlan Croker reportedly set to miss the opening three rounds after suffering a hamstring injury.

Wide World of Sports reports the 24-year-old picked up the injury during training this week.

The club has not yet confirmed Croker’s injury, but he was not named to play Sunday’s trial match against the Wests Tigers.

It’s important to note that halves duo Daly Cherry-Evans and Kieran Foran were also not named in the squad — suggesting coach Des Hasler is resting his key men. However, Foxsports.com.au understands Croker as well as fellow utility Cade Cust both had hamstring concerns earlier this month.

Round 1

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Michael Hurley injury, infection, reunites with Bombers teammates, Essendon vs Carlton practice match


New Essendon footy boss Josh Mahoney admits Michael Hurley has “a bit of a fight ahead of him” as he continues his recovery from a hip infection that saw him hospitalised twice.

The 30-year-old swingman reunited with many of his Essendon teammates during Thursday’s practice match, after being left virtually bedridden for several weeks since being forced into hospital over an infection, then having to return days later when it flared up again.

He was released on February 17 but is facing a lost season, or at least a sizeable portion of it, given the recovery he still needs to undergo, along with a drop in fitness.

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“It’s been a really frustrating one for Hurls and for the club. He’d done six weeks where he’d trained the whole pre-season and then to have an infection in his leg, which he’s been taking antibiotics and it’s now been three-and-a-half weeks where he’s been taking it and hasn’t been able to do anything,” Mahoney told 3AW Sportsday.

“Being bedridden now for three or four weeks certainly pushes him back … he’s struggling to get around, he’s on crutches and he’s lost quite a bit of weight.

“It was a good spirit lifter for the guys to see him at the game, he was desperate to come because he just wants to be involved, which is part of the character I’ve seen already in Hurls.

“He’s got a bit of a fight ahead of him, the main thing is just getting him back to being healthy and then we can worry about building him up to play games of footy again.”

Needing crutches to walk and with a drip still in his upper arm, Hurley was happily greeted by teammates who weren’t allowed to visit him in recent weeks.

“Michael Hurley can hardly walk even with the aid of crutches as the Essendon players come to embrace him as they come off at half time,” the Herald Sun’s Jon Ralph tweeted.

“Great to see him here. Clearly his health a bigger concern than a return to football.”

Rather than running down the race at half-time, Devon Smith ran straight towards where Hurley was sitting near the interchange bench.

Cale Hooker also didn’t head down the race and spoke to the veteran for a number of minutes at the main break.

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Novak Djokovic frustrated by speculation over Australian Open injury


Novak Djokovic’s place at the top of world tennis is once again indisputable after winning the Australian Open for a record ninth time, but he remains a target for criticism.

Over the past two weeks, people questioned the severity of an abdominal “tear” he said he picked up in a third-round win over Taylor Fritz.

As he continued to scythe through his competition at Melbourne Park, voices around the tennis world cast doubt on his story, with Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis apparently mocking him in a now-deleted Twitter post.

“I have no idea what he’s feeling or what he’s going through. I just heard he thinks he has a torn muscle. I didn’t mean it in a bad way at all,” Kokkinakis said when asked about his Twitter activity.

“I’m like, if he can recover from a torn muscle in two days, hats off. Teach me.”

“I copped abuse for it, but it wasn’t even taking a shot at him.” he added.

“If he actually has a torn muscle and can recover in two days, that’s impressive, because I haven’t been able to do that and it’s taken me months.”

A day after dismantling fifth seed Daniil Medvedev in the final, Djokovic revealed some more details of the injury, saying he had another MRI in the morning and the tear in his abdomen had grown from 17 millimetres to 25mm.

Djokovic said he had made peace with the fact “I can’t please everyone or be someone’s favourite tennis player”, but he could not deny the speculation about his injury got under his skin.

“I have feelings like anybody else and I don’t enjoy when someone judges or criticises or behaves unfairly before checking certain things and going out in public like that.

“But at the same time, I accept the fact that everyone is entitled to their own opinion.”

He also applied that logic to the moment on Sunday night when Tennis Australia chair Jayne Hrdlicka was booed for mentioning the COVID vaccine on stage.

Djokovic said “she did very well under those circumstances … to stay composed” but he would not be drawn on whether he would be open to getting the vaccine if it was required to return to Australia for the tournament next year.

“Let’s see what happens. There have been a lot of discussions about that but nothing is yet concretely said about that,” he said.

“There aren’t any rules or regulations in place from ATP or slams. So I’m just going to wait and see.”

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Australia’s David Warner admits he will face pain from his groin injury for most of 2021 ahead of Ashes series



Australia opener David Warner has admitted the groin injury that kept him out of half of the Test series against India over the new year might still be causing him pain for another nine months.

The 34-year-old, who sustained the injury in an ODI against India in November, missed the first two Tests against the tourists before playing partially fit for the remainder of the series as Australia slumped to a 2-1 defeat.

The left-handed batsman will be key to Australia’s hopes of retaining the Ashes when England tour at the end of this year.

However, Warner said he might not be playing pain-free until just before that series.

“I am almost back to full 100 per cent sprinting in a straight line,” he said while commentating on Australia’s first Twenty20 against New Zealand on Monday.

“This next week is getting back to fielding, picking up, throwing — very difficult that was, last couple of weeks, even trying to throw.

“Now it’s all about lateral (movement), running between wickets, building that up.

“It’s just the tendon that has got that slight tear in it now.

Warner, who was scheduled to captain Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League in April, was selected for Australia’s Test tour of South Africa, but that was aborted because of health concerns.

He said he had spoken with other athletes who had suffered similar injuries.

“They have just said it’s a niggle,” Warner added.

“It’s just getting back that confidence to sidestep and run as hard as I can and dive around again. Once I get that, I will be right to go. It’s just not 100 per cent there yet.”

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NRL 2021: Manly Warringah Sea Eagles, Des Hasler, replacements for Tom Trbojevic, hamstring injury


Trbojevic has been plagued by hamstring problems, but Manly say this complaint is related his right hamstring not his left after an “innocuous accident”.

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Round 1

The question that comes after this latest blow for Trbojevic is finding somebody to replace him

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Tom Trbojevic hamstring injury, Manly race video, Sea Eagles news


Vision of Manly star Tom Trbojevic racing a fan through The Corso nightspot on Saturday night has emerged just hours after he claimed to have suffered a hamstring injury during a bathroom slip.

The injury-cursed fullback on Monday apologised to fans for the off-field injury which will see him miss at least the first three rounds of the 2021 NRL season.

The 24-year-old on Monday repeatedly denied he suffered the injury during a night out with teammates where players were reportedly spotted at several Manly bars and night clubs.

According to The Australian’s Brent Read, Trbojevic admitted it is a bad look.

“I was having a few drinks and I was being an idiot on The Corso,” Trbojevic said.

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“I know how it is going to look but I swear, I didn’t hurt it then.”

Vision of his run through The Corso emerged almost immediately after his Monday press conference with reports claiming he was seen “racing a fan”.

According to reports, Trbojevic and the football club are still insisting the Saturday night frolic is not related to the injury he suffered inside his bathroom on Sunday morning.

According to a spectator seen in the video, Trbojevic lost the race to the other man.

A Manly media release announced the injury was the result of an “innocuous accident”.

Sea Eagles chief executive Stephen Humphries has told The Daily Telegraph the club has not attempted to cover up Trbojevic’s Saturday night antics and is satisfied with the “full explanation” Trbojevic provided to the club.

The NSW State of Origin star first told reporters the injury is not the same hamstring that has plagued him in recent years.

Trbojevic only played seven games in 2020 after injuring his hamstring in June before a shoulder injury in Round 19 ended his year, including the 2020 State of Origin series.

“I’m devastated by what’s happened,” Trbojevic said.

“I will be working hard with the rehab team to get the hamstring right.”

He then repeated the injury was suffered slipping over in the shower.

“It’s obviously not ideal. I’ve been working really hard this off-season and to now find out you’re going to miss a few weeks of footy, it’s disappointing,” he said.

“It’s pretty embarrassing to actually say, but I’ve woken up yesterday morning and I’ve slipped over in the bathroom and just felt it go. It’s pretty hard to take.”

He then apologised to fans for “not playing enough footy” in recent seasons.

“I do apologise to Manly… and to the members that I won’t be playing footy early this year,” he said.

It is a particularly crushing blow for the Sea Eagles, who enter the 2021 season without a recognised fullback option to replace Trbojevic.

Winger Tevita Funa replaced Trbojevic at fullback in 2020.

The club has rolled the dice with injury-plagued stars this season under coach Des Hasler with the club also gambling on five-eighth Kieran Foran’s fitness.

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Saints bolster ruck stocks after injury blow


St Kilda has signed former Adelaide ruckman Paul Hunter, bolstering the club’s ruck stocks following the foot injury to Rowan Marshall.

Hunter joins the Saints via the pre-season Supplemental Selection Period after being invited to train with the club in early February.

The 28-year-old caught the eye in St Kilda’s intra-club match on Thursday with tall trio Marshall, Paddy Ryder and Shaun McKernan all unavailable.

Hunter was preparing for a second season with SANFL club South Adelaide before the Saints came calling.

“We were really happy to be able to get Paul over to the Saints,” St Kilda’s list boss James Gallagher told the club’s website.

“We initially invited Paul to train with us, with a view to look at him in the mid-season or November draft.

“But with the injury to Rowan this week, and Paul’s strong performances in our match practice, it became very evident that he should be on our list.

“We’re conscious of the implications for South Adelaide, but it’s important we head into the season with further ruck support and we believe that Paul is the best prepared ruckman outside of the AFL.

“Paul’s a dedicated guy, and he’s really excited to get another shot at the highest level, so we’re very happy to be able to provide that opportunity.”

Hunter didn’t make a senior appearance during his four years at the Crows.





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