A new helmet feature that was developed after Phillip Hughes’ death may have lessened the injury suffered by Chris Rogers at Lord’s.
Rogers retired hurt on day four of the second Ashes Test due to a sudden bout of dizziness, which was related to a Jimmy Anderson bouncer that struck his helmet on day two.
He experienced another alarming dizzy spell in the changerooms on Sunday, then another on Monday.
It was feared the 37-year-old suffered a delayed concussion, but subsequent scans revealed the problem is related to the vestibular system in his inner ear.
Team doctor Peter Brukner remains “optimistic” Rogers will be fit for the third Test, which starts at Edgbaston on Wednesday.
The fact Rogers remains a chance of playing that game is a testament to the clip-on ‘stemguard’ he was using.
“We’ll never know how much damage would have been done if it wasn’t there,” Brukner said.
“He certainly believes it helped. It’s reasonable to think it certainly softened the blow.
“It hit him more or less at the junction of the foam guard and the helmet.”
Brukner and Rogers have consulted specialists in London this week, including a concussion guru.
Further balance tests have been ordered, with the results to be known on Friday.
“He’ll also have some treatment, there’s a physiotherapist who specialises in this area,” Brukner said.
“He seems to be improving very steadily … we’re optimistic he’ll be able to play next week.”
Rogers, who is averaging 109 in the series after posting a career-best 173 at Lord’s, would be a major loss if ruled out of the third Test.
The veteran has been resting this week and won’t start a gradual return to physical activity until he is free of symptoms and the test results are in.
“He’s just taking it easy for a couple of days. You manage this really similarly to the way you manage a concussion,” Brukner said.
“That will be up to the coaches to decide (whether Rogers is ready for a Test) but I imagine he’ll have to get through a couple of solid training sessions before he plays.”
Brukner, who has a vast range of experience as a sports medico including a stint at English Premier League side Liverpool, has never seen a case like this.
“It’s a pretty important part of the body. It’s not commonly damaged. The most usual thing is a virus,” he said.
“I’ve certainly not seen a traumatic one before due to a blow in my football and cricket time.
“Chris has been a bit unlucky.”
Rogers, who missed both Tests on the recent West Indies tour due to concussion, is understandably relieved it is not a brain injury.
“It’s fair to say that was a concern he had and we all had, given his recent history,” Brukner said.
“But that has certainly been ruled out.
“He’s very positive and wants to get out there and keep going again.”