Jurgen Klopp says concussion protocols have been taken “really seriously”.


James Milner took a knock to the head against Napoli on Tuesday

Jurgen Klopp says concussion protocols are being taken “very seriously” after it was announced James Milner will miss Sunday’s league game at Tottenham.

Milner, 36, had to be substituted early in the second half with a head injury during Liverpool’s game. He won the Champions League 2-0 on tuesday

The Reds boss said Milner reported a problem when the players returned to the pitch after the break.

“No one wants to push a player with a concussion,” Klopp said.

“It’s difficult. It’s not that easy because you need two sources, one is the doctor, the other is the patient.

“It was clear to me – he got a real check on the field and he was fine when it happened.

“In the dressing room at our meeting, ‘Millie’ was perfectly fine and, after she calmed down, she came out into the streetlights and was like, ‘Wow, what’s going on here?’

“He realized and then that’s the most important source, the player realized ‘that’s not good’ and then we stopped and he sat down and we removed him.”

“If a doctor feels he’s not well, he’ll go straight away, the player doesn’t have a chance to say ‘No, I’m fine’.”

After Tuesday’s game, Klopp initially said midfielder Milner was “fine” after being hit on the head in the first half.

This week, the Professional Footballers’ Association renewed calls for temporary concussion substitutions, saying they are current protocols. “jeopardizing player safety”.

Football’s governing body, the International Football Association Board, was asked to make changes ahead of the season.

Premier League rules allow for an additional permanent concussion against the usual five substitutes if a player has a head injury, but there is currently no provision in European football.

Milner’s injury comes after Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez took a knock to the head in an accidental collision with teammate Tyrone Mings at Newcastle on Saturday.

The Argentine stayed on early and received lengthy treatment before being replaced shortly afterwards. Villa said all protocols were followed in terms of medical treatment and Martinez had delayed concussion symptoms at the time.

Klopp said that while he is happy with the current concussion guidelines, he also admitted that finding better ways to treat head injuries is not easy.

“It takes quite a while between being hit and being fired, I’m not sure 15 minutes is a long time to wait,” he said.

“People tell you it starts after an hour. I think the way we do it is the right way.

“It doesn’t happen that often, to be 100% honest. We can talk like it happens all the time and guys are constantly in danger but it’s not.

“But if it happens we have a solution, much better than ever in the history of football. Is there room for improvement? Probably. But I don’t know how.”

How to follow Liverpool on the BBC bannerLiverpool banner footer