Ospina left in game after early head injury, collapses before halftime

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Napoli goalkeeper David Ospina was taken to the hospital with some urgency after collapsing on the pitch just before halftime at San Paolo Stadium on Sunday.

In the fifth minute of Napoli’s match against Udinese, Ospina was involved in a collision with Ignacio Pussetto, with the Udinese striker chasing a Kevin Lasagna cross, his boot meeting the ball at the same time as Ospina arrived to collect or contest. Ospina immediately clutched his head and received treatment, but was allowed to continue.

In the 41st minute, during a stoppage in play with the ball near the center of the pitch, Ospina collapsed onto his back seemingly either unconscious or barely conscious, and the players around him immediately motioned for medical assistance. The training staff arrived and checked his airways as they began treatment.

Eventually, Ospina was carted off and brought to a local hospital for tests. Napoli later confirmed that a CAT scan cleared Ospina of any immediate danger but that he would stay at the medical center overnight.

If Ospina suffered a concussion at the time of the early collision, Napoli’s decision to leave him in the game could have had dangerous consequences. There has been a heightened sensitivity to head injuries in the sport in recent years thanks to awareness of second-impact syndrome which leaves those suffering from a concussion at deadly risk should they receive another brain trauma. If he comes out of the incident otherwise unscathed, Ospina’s collapse could be seen as a blessing in disguise as it removed him from danger on the pitch and forced him to receive medical treatment.

Ospina joined Napoli this season on a loan deal from Arsenal and has made 14 Serie A appearances, sharing time between the sticks with Orestis Karnezis almost dead evenly. Napoli would go on to win 4-2 despite Udinese having leveled the score at 2-2 just before Ospina’s collapse.