Thursday , November 7 2019

Ryan Giggs hits back at criticism over handling of Daniel James’ head injury against Croatia

‘The easy target is Dan James’: Ryan Giggs hits back at criticism over handling of winger’s head injury sustained in Wales’ Euro 2020 qualifier against Croatia

  • Wales faced criticism over handling Daniel James’ head injury against Croatia
  • Boss Ryan Giggs has hit back insisting James did not sustain concussion in clash 
  • The winger received treatment on the pitch but was able to continue playing 

Ryan Giggs has criticised brain injury charity Headway for questioning Wales’ medical department following an apparent concussion incident involving Manchester United winger Daniel James.

Wales boss Giggs prompted a strong rebuke from Headway last month after calling James ‘streetwise’ for staying down following a heavy collision during the Euro 2020 qualifier against Croatia.

James looked as if he had been knocked out and would have to be substituted when a stretcher was sent onto the pitch, but he was able to rejoin the action after receiving lengthy treatment from medics.

Daniel James appeared to be knocked unconscious playing for Wales against Croatia

The young winger received treatment from Wales' medical staff immediately on the pitch

The young winger received treatment from Wales’ medical staff immediately on the pitch

Giggs said James was ‘just using his nous’ and had passed concussion protocols to continue playing in the 1-1 draw in Cardiff.

But Headway chief executive Peter McCabe branded Giggs’ comments ‘shocking’, saying the incident had placed Wales’ medical team under unfair scrutiny and that it was not acceptable for teams to use concussion protocols for tactical gain.

Asked if he regretted his comments, Giggs replied: ‘I don’t know about regret, but maybe I could have worded it a little bit differently.

‘As a manager I should be used to it, but I was a little bit frustrated that after two good performances I was having to talk about someone who didn’t get concussion. I want to talk about football.’

James continued playing despite the injury and was apparently cleared of any concussion

James continued playing despite the injury and was apparently cleared of any concussion

Wales boss Ryan Giggs criticised brain injury charity Headway for the response to the incident

Wales boss Ryan Giggs criticised brain injury charity Headway for the response to the incident

On Headway’s response, Giggs said: ‘I was quite surprised that they didn’t mention Ethan (Ampadu), who did come off with a head injury. An organisation like that not having faith in our medical department, which is outstanding.

‘We brought Joe Allen out of a huge game (the 2018 World Cup qualifier against the Republic of Ireland) and Kieffer Moore had five stitches in the game before.

‘Nothing gets said about that, the easy target is Dan James because he plays for Man United. It creates headlines.’

Giggs said Headway had not contacted him or the Football Association of Wales since the Croatia game on October 13.

‘It’s disappointing because they are questioning an outstanding medical department that are here and dealing with the situation,’ he said.

‘It was just frustrating that in the couple of days after the game we were talking about that rather than two really good football performances.’

James is part of a 27-man squad for this month’s final Euro 2020 qualifiers against Azerbaijan and Hungary, with Wales needing to win both games to keep alive hopes of playing in next summer’s finals.

Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale is battling to overcome an injury to play for Wales

Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale is battling to overcome an injury to play for Wales

Gareth Bale remains doubtful after being ruled out of Real Madrid’s Champions League tie against Galatasaray on Wednesday with a calf problem that has sidelined him since the Croatia game.

‘I’ve been in contact with Gareth and he’s confident that he’s going to be fit,’ Giggs said.

‘He was hoping he would be involved this weekend (in Real’s LaLiga visit to Eibar) and he feels that the rehab has gone well.

‘It is literally day by day. In football you can be not fit and then fit three or four days later.

‘We have to be sensible, obviously, but I’m desperate for him to be fit and available.’