Wally Lewis urges Reece Walsh not to rush back from concussion



“I don’t think anyone enjoys guys getting knocked rotten,” Lewis said. “It’s not an enjoyable part of footy, and it wasn’t a good scene the other night

“I’m sure the intentions [from Suaalii] were originally to make the tackle as painful as possible, but not hitting him in the head. Tackles go wrong.

“As a former player, you don’t want to wait around, you want to come back the next week. You don’t want to sit on the sideline or be considered a wimp if you don’t come back in a few weeks.

“But there are too many long-term dangers to put up with now. You need to accept the decision from the doctors and medical staff.

“I’m sure Reece will want to get back as soon as possible. The doctors will be exercising their professional prowess and making sure there won’t be an early comeback. There’s too much to lose.”

Walsh passed his concussion assessment in the sheds before half-time, but the symptoms he displayed on the ground – including convulsing and his eyes rolling back in his head – automatically activated the stand-down rule.

Even though Walsh is available for Origin II, Brisbane fans will need to wait until at least round 18, a Friday night game against premiers Penrith, to see him in action. The one thing in his favour is Maroons doctor Matt Hislop works with Walsh at the Broncos each week.

Sports physiotherapist Brien Seeney, better known as “NRL Physio” on X, formerly known as Twitter, said giving Walsh extra time would help his brain recover. He also said the confronting sight of Walsh unconscious on the turf was not necessarily evidence of a more severe concussion.

“There’s a risk of coming back too soon with every concussion, but it should be known the brutality or the appearance of the concussion in the early stages has no bearing on the overall severity of the concussion,” Seeney told this masthead.

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“If Reece Walsh looked horrible the other night when it happened, it’s quite significant, but it doesn’t automatically make that concussion something we should be more conservative about, compared with every other concussion.

“All concussions are different but should be treated with the same level of care. There’s no knowing how he will deal with it until he is in [the recovery period].”

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