Chris Rogers has been forced to retire hurt on day four of the second Ashes Test due to a sudden bout of dizziness, with fears the veteran opener could be suffering from delayed onset of concussion.
Rogers was struck on the helmet by England spearhead Jimmy Anderson with the first ball on day two at Lord’s.
The left-hander was treated for a cut behind the ear, but team physio Alex Kountouris and doctor Peter Brukner decided a concussion assessment was not required.
The 37-year-old, who missed two Tests in Australia’s recent West Indies tour due to concussion, went on to score a career-best 173 and fielded on Friday and Saturday.
However, two overs into Sunday’s action Rogers felt unwell and summoned Kountouris and Brukner.
He sat on his haunches as the duo rushed out alongside Brad Haddin.
Rogers talked with the medicos and walked unassisted from the field for further assessment.
He changed out of his whites and sat on the Lord’s balcony when England started their second innings, with a Cricket Australia spokesperson saying Rogers will continue to be monitored.
Rogers admitted in the lead-up to the Ashes he was troubled by the symptoms he experienced in the Caribbean.
“I’ve been hit in the head plenty of times and never really had that,” he said.
“We do have to be a little bit concerned about it.
“You have to look after yourself with head injuries.”
Rogers had already contemplated his future in the game after being hit on the back of the head while fielding at short leg during the 2014-15 Test series against India.
“It was an interesting time after what happened with Phil (Hughes),” Rogers told radio station SEN.”
“That night I was pretty upset so I just wasn’t sure which way to go. I had to speak to a few people close to me.”
Kountouris, speaking to AAP prior to the Ashes, outlined Cricket Australia’s updated concussion policy.
“The one change we’ve made is that if the doctor or physio runs out there and suspects that a player is concussed, they’ve got to come off the ground,” CA’s head of sports science and sports medicine said.
“It’s something that hasn’t happened .. but we just want to cover all bases.”
CA follow a modified form of the Zurich Consensus, a set of concussion guidelines for all sport.
“Cricket is unique in the sense that we don’t have substitutes,” Kountouris said.
“That doesn’t make it a harder decision medically, it just puts doctors under maybe a little bit more pressure to make the right call.”
Kountouris and Brukner have both worked hard to raise concussion awareness among the side and formalise CA’s approach.
Head knocks in the sport are rare and multiple concussions are incredibly rare, especially compared to Australia’s national football codes.
However, the risk of brain trauma remains.
“It is a serious injury. We’re not talking about a three-week hamstring injury becoming a six-week injury,” Kountouris said.
“We understand the impact of getting hit on the head.”