Mauricio Pochettino: ‘Doctor’s decision to let Jan Vertonghen play on’
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino insisted it was the club’s medical staff’s decision to allow Jan Vertonghen to return to the pitch despite suffering a serious-looking head injury in the Champions League loss to Ajax.
Vertonghen has since been given the all-clear by Spurs, who say he has not suffered a concussion, and walked unaided out of the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium after his side lost the semi-final first leg 1-0.
But the focus will be on how the Belgium defender was allowed back on the pitch, given his poor state when he had to go off again shortly afterwards.
Referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz spoke to Spurs’ medical staff before allowing Vertonghen to return to the field, only for the defender to quickly go off again.
Pochettino had to put his arm around to help keep the groggy defender up, before he was carried away after appearing to retch by the touchline.
A Spurs official told Press Association Sport after the match that Vertonghen was fine and had passed all concussion tests, although the defender will have more assessments over the coming days.
Tottenham boss Pochettino said: “I wasn’t involved. I wasn’t involved. It was the doctor’s decision.
“I think it’s so important things, the rules and the protocol are there and our medical staff follow the protocol.
“I was never involved. The decision was the doctor and the referee asked.