Luke Keary facing six months sidelined if knocked in head again

Livewire Roosters five-eighth Luke Keary has revealed former teammate Ryan Matterson has reached out to him to help him through a daunting period that has put his playing future in doubt.

Sydney Roosters’ Luke Keary could be forced to rest for up to six months if he suffers another concussion.

The star five-eighth is on track to make a round 17 return from a concussion he suffered in round 11 against Newcastle.

Keary has suffered four concussions in 14 months, two of which occurred in 2019 and only five weeks apart.

He was cleared of any serious issues by independent neurological specialists after the most recent head knock. But the Bondi club refused to take any risks and opted to give him time away from the game.

Since then, the 27-year old has also been making regular visits to a headache clinic in Sydney’s inner west as part of his recovery program.

Wests Tigers forward and former teammate Ryan Matterson revealed he reached out to Keary to offer his support.

Matterson was sidelined for almost two months with concussion issues during his time at the Roosters in 2108.

Keary has had four concussions in 14 months.

“I think he’s OK. I’m not going to say it’s not as bad as what he’s had in the past, because he had a pretty bad one,” Matterson said.

“He said he’s playing golf and doing all that stuff so that’s a positive sign. But you don’t want to be having too many head knocks especially at a young age like Luke.”

The ‘bad one’ Matterson is referring to is the concussion Keary suffered in February last year in a training mishap during the pre-season.

The incident would be the start of Keary’s concussion troubles.

“When Luke first did it in the pre-season, when he broke his jaw, he had a concussion that really set him back and they said to him he isn’t going to be training. So he fixed his jaw up and his time away from the game,” Matterson said.

Matterson believes the treatment Keary received back then helped create a better level of care for players at the club.

“That really helped me when I was at the Roosters as well because they already had that protocol down pat. So it’s just going to get easier for the next person that it happens to at the Roosters,” he said.

Matterson knows first hand recovery from concussion can be tricky. Brisbane’s Kodi Nikorima kicked a ball that landed flush in Matterson’s face in round 11 last season.

It left him dazed but two days later he passed the concussion protocol. Instead of getting better Matterson started suffering serious symptoms like light sensitivity, noise sensitivity and migraines.

“I think rest is the best. I feel like if I’m going to give any advice to anybody it’s just rest as much as you can. You don’t want to come back too early because you’re susceptible to get more head knocks,” he said.

Earlier this year, NRL head of football Graham Annesley said the governing body had no plans to implement mandatory stand-downs for players who suffer concussion.

KEARY CONCUSSIONS

FEB 2018 — concussion and broken jaw, pre-season training
OCT 2018 — concussion, Test match

APRIL 2019 — concussion, round 6 v Melbourne
MAY 2019 — concussion, round 11 v Newcastle

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