Wobbling walk. The stunned look. Hands clutching the head.
Anthony Davis’ behavior after getting elbowed in the head Wednesday night was a frightening sight.
TNT’s Chris Haynes reported after Golden State’s 121-106 win over the Lakers that Davis “appeared to have avoided a concussion.” Lakers coach Darvin Hamm said Thursday that Davis is not showing signs of a concussion and that the Lakers have rated Davis as a potential for Game 6 on Friday night.
This is great news for the Lakers. A look at the NBA’s concussion policy may shed some light on what might be going on behind the scenes. The policy states:
“If a player is suspected of having suffered a concussion or exhibits signs or symptoms of a concussion, he must be removed from participation by either the team physician or the player’s team athletic coach, and subjected to evaluation in a quiet, distraction-free environment conducive to a neurological assessment prior to the player being released. Back to participating in the game, the resident (or athletic trainer) has to review the video to assess the mechanism.”
Based on how Davis behaved after absorbing the blow, it is safe to assume that he was assessed in the manner described above.
“If a player undergoes a concussion evaluation and is not diagnosed with a concussion, team medical personnel must continue to monitor the player, and the player must undergo at least another concussion evaluation by team medical personnel prior to a game or following team practice or approximately 24 hours after the evaluation the initial concussion (whichever comes first). If the player subsequently develops any signs or symptoms of a concussion, the player must be immediately removed from participation and subject to additional concussion evaluation.”
This may be where Davis is at at the moment. Any sign of a possible concussion could jeopardize his playing status for Friday.
“Whether or not an athlete undergoing a concussion evaluation is diagnosed, the absence or presence of a concussion in that player must be reviewed by a physician trained and experienced in concussion management within 24 hours of the injury. The physician must ultimately confirm the presence or absence of a concussion and be involved in the injury management plan.
Things would get even more complicated if Davis was ever diagnosed with a concussion.
“If a player is diagnosed with a concussion, they cannot return to participation: (1) for at least 48 hours, including the date of diagnosis; and (2) until after they have completed the process to return to participation required.
“A player with a concussion must have his physical and cognitive exertion limited under the supervision of his team’s medical staff. After a short rest period (24-48 hours) after the injury, the player may be encouraged, under the supervision of the team doctor, to gradually and gradually become more active, as long as that the activity level does not cause or exacerbate the player’s symptoms.”
This schedule appears to eliminate the possibility of Davis being allowed to participate in Game 6 and potentially jeopardize his status in a potential Game 7 as well, since there are multiple ramp-ups that the player must complete without a set schedule in which they are supposed to take place.
After a player successfully completes these steps, and if he or she is symptom-free and evaluated by a physician trained in concussion management, the team physician will consult with the NBA Concussion Program Director before making a final return-to-participation decision.
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