LeBron James said he had a headache after colliding into a camera, cutting his head and causing bleeding.
That revelation heightened many observers’ concerns about LeBron having a concussion and whether the Cavaliers properly followed the NBA’s concussion protocol – which LeBron said he did not go through.
After all, Klay Thompson was cleared to return to a game in which he took a hit to the head, complained of a headache afterward and then was later diagnosed with a concussion.
But Dr. Ben Wedro of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Gundersen Clinic and MDdirect.org says not to conflate the situations.
“I think you’re allowed to have a headache when you hit your head,” Wedro said. “That’s allowed.
“He had a scalp injury. Lacerations or cuts hurt. So, you’re allowed to have pain from the injury but not necessarily your brain.”
Thompson was also vomiting, another symptom of a concussion.
Wedro and I agree that players suspected of having a concussion should not return to play the same day. But unless LeBron revealed other symptoms of a concussion that weren’t apparent on television, there wasn’t significant concern he suffered a concussion.
“We lead with our head a lot in life. We bump our heads. Kids fall down and hit their heads,” Wedro said. “We protect them as much as we can, but everyone gets hit on the head on occasion, and not everyone gets a concussion.”
It seems the Cavaliers reasonably allowed LeBron to return to play. Still, should continue to be monitored in case he develops delayed symptoms.
“That doesn’t meant you have to hold people sort of in a bubble until you decide X amount of time has gone by that they won’t develop symptoms,” Wedro said.