Schalke Condemned for Allowing Midfielder to Carry on Playing Despite Sickening Head Injuries

Alex Gidden

​Bundesliga outfit Schalke have come in for heavy criticism after they allowed young star Leon Goretzka to play against Ajax in the Europa League on Thursday with both a broken jaw and heavy concussion. 

The midfielder picked up the injuries after being involved in a collision with opposition goalkeeper,  Andre Onana,  during the two team's quarter-final second leg last week. 

Despite struggling for much of the second half, Goretzka played all but six minutes of the match at the  Veltins-Arena and even defied his clear discomfort by scoring Schalke's first goal 10 minutes after the half-time break. 

However, as the German side are left to reflect on their eventual elimination from the competition, they have been widely condemned after  ​Kicker  reported that Goretzka is now out for the rest of the season with a double jaw fracture and concussion. 

The two injuries were both picked up in the collision on Thursday evening and despite there now being strict rules in place for head injuries in football, Schalke's failure to assess Goretzka's condition correctly has seen them come under fire. 

Comments made by the 22-year-old's teammate, Benedikt Howedes, have hardly helped the club's cause after he revealed that the player had spent much of half-time with doctors.  There have also been reports that the Goretzka was vomiting during the interval and that teammates were unsure how he was able to play on.

“I don’t know what he has exactly. He spent more time with the doctors than with us in the dressing room during the break," the centre back said after the match, via ​GiveMeSport.

FC Schalke 04 v Ajax Amsterdam - UEFA Europa League Quarter Final: Second Leg
FC Schalke 04 v Ajax Amsterdam - UEFA Europa League Quarter Final: Second Leg

“But he gave everything, and we are very proud of him and hope that it’s not all that dramatic.”

Having finally been substituted in the 84th minute, a groggy Goretzka was helped down the tunnel by medical staff and was then taken to hospital where the true extent of his injuries were discovered. 

He will now play no further part in what has been a disappointing campaign for  Markus Weinzierl's side, as they sit in 11th position in the Bundesliga and have little hope of qualifying for the Europa League once again next season. 

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