Dressed in a black suit for his self-described wake, Chivas USA defender Jimmy Conrad bade farewell to MLS last Thursday (Photo courtesy Chivas USA).
Read about the reasons for Jimmy Conrad’s retirement in today’s column.
Incidentally, MLS sent me a few more details of the enhanced protocols they implemented to deal with concussions, which include:
*Outside consultation – Every team has an independent neuropsychologist who works with the team doctor and head trainer to administer tests and interpret the results.
*New testing methods – League-wide, the same battery of “paper and pencil” tests, which take about an hour to complete, now supplement the computerized baseline tests we’ve been using since 2003.
*Education – Dr. Echemendia, an expert in the field of sports concussions and chair of the new MLS Concussion Program Committee, presented to each of the 18 clubs and a gathering of all referees, coaches and general managers during preseason. Posters are being hung in training facilities and stadium locker rooms with concussion symptoms to watch for. The committee is working on multi-lingual and culturally-sensitive materials to help with ongoing awareness.
*Gradual Return-to-Play – Once an injured player is symptom-free at rest and deemed to be neurocognitively at or above his baseline, he can begin the gradual process of returning to activity – monitored at each step by the team physician for a re-emergence of symptoms. A player should only progress to the next step when symptom free.
*The nine-member MLS Concussion Program Committee – Includes representation from MLS administration, MLS Players Union administration, MLS players, MLS team trainers and MLS team physicians.
Incidentally, just as one local defender exits MLS another – a Torrance native – has returned to the league.