Liverpool’s Martin Skrtel falls hard, initially appears unresponsive

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In the opening minutes of Liverpool’s FA Cup match with Blackburn, Martin Skrtel went up for a headed challenge near midfield and landed awkwardly. He got a bit of a shove from Blackburn’s Rudy Gestede, and it send him tumbling to the ground where he slammed the back of his head against the pitch.

Video shows he demonstrates the scariest of head injury symptoms, the fencing response, as his arms go completely limp upon hitting the ground. Even scarier still, his eyes are open and, while blinking, appear to be glassy and unmoving.

Skrtel appeared to be unconscious and unresponsive as a medical team placed him in a neck brace and moved his body and limbs into proper position upon a stretcher. Thankfully, he did seem to regain consciousness during the eight-minute treatment process, and gave a thumbs-up to the crowd as he was carried off.

Still, serious head trauma such as this remains scary and we hope Martin is alright. It also appeared after that Skrtel may have even tried to pull his brace off and convince Brendan Rodgers he was ready to continue, but thankfully cooler heads prevailed and Skrtel was carried down the tunnel.

Video of the incident can be seen here.

Human emotion aside, the injury is also a big blow to Liverpool’s chances in this game, and going forward depending on how long he could be out. They’ve already been forced to break up their in-form defensive line before the game as Joe Allen picked up an injury in training yesterday, forcing Emre Can out of the back line and into the midfield. Skrtel and Can have been stars over Liverpool’s undefeated run through 2015. With Skrtel injured, Kolo Toure came off the bench as an 11th minute sub.

It prompted some immediate response on Twitter:

Thankfully, according to ESPNFC injury expert Ben Dinnery, Skrtel is awake, responsive, and watching the game from the dressing room.