June 25, 2024

Sam Walker is set to play for the Roosters on Thursday despite being sidelined in round three due to category one concussion symptoms. During his team’s victory over the Rabbitohs, the 21-year-old had to leave the field in the second half due to an unintentional elbow from Jack Wighton. Initially ruled out by the independent doctor, Walker’s condition was later downgraded to category two as he passed his head injury assessment. He only experienced neck pain, which was the area impacted by Wighton’s blow.

'They over-corrected': Trent Robinson explains 'rare' Sam Walker concussion 'reversal'

“It was initiated by our medical team almost immediately, based on their observations on the field and after the game,” Robinson stated.

“When he was initially ruled out during the game, there were questions raised, and then the proper protocols were followed. There weren’t any visible symptoms on the field.

“We felt that categorizing it as a category one concussion was too severe, and fortunately, the NRL recognized that too, which was a positive outcome. It could have had consequences during the game as well.

“I think the situation was rectified promptly.”

Walker and his halves partner Luke Keary are poised to make a return for the Roosters against the Panthers after adhering to the NRL’s 11-day stand-down protocol for concussions. Robinson expressed support for the NRL’s concussion protocols despite a minor discrepancy in Walker’s case against the Rabbitohs.

“It’s a valuable process because it involves independent assessment,” the coach emphasized. “Although it’s uncommon, there have been instances where corrections were made, which is positive, as Sam wasn’t concussed or even close to it. He had neck discomfort, not head-related issues.”

The return of Walker and Keary in their respective positions will significantly bolster the Roosters’ lineup, especially with players like Sandon Smith (elbow) and Lindsay Collins (hamstring) sidelined due to injuries.

Smith played through significant ligament damage in his elbow for over 40 minutes and will now be out for at least a month, while Collins is expected to be back in action by round five.

“We’ve been relatively fortunate with injuries, but these are just a couple of frustrating ones,” Robinson commented.

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