Twellman backs team
He says Revolution did not ignore concussion symptoms
Revolution all-time leading scorer Taylor Twellman confirmed yesterday that he was sent back onto the playing field after telling the team he had a concussion during a game in 2008.
Twellman told a conference on brain trauma in Framingham he had sustained five concussions before the one that led to his early retirement.
“I’m not in the business of finger-pointing and I have no ill feelings toward the Revolution, none whatsoever,’’ Twellman said of his keynote speech at the conference. “It was about education, not ignoring concussions. Unfortunately, my story is about education.’’
Twellman previously has said he believes his career would have continued had he been taken out of the Aug. 30, 2008, game against the Galaxy, in which he absorbed a punch to the head from goalkeeper Steve Cronin while scoring in the 22d minute.
“It did take too long but they didn’t ignore it,’’ Twellman said of the Revolution’s attempt to diagnose his condition. “At the time, no one knew nausea was a symptom of concussions.’’
Twellman, now 31, continued to play for the Revolution after that game, scoring twice in the next seven games. But he was placed on the injured list as the Revolution advanced to the MLS playoffs.
In 2009, Twellman returned to score twice in two matches, but never played again.
“The fact is the star player for the Revolution couldn’t get an answer for a long time,’’ Twellman said. “If the star of the Revolution, who lives in a metropolitan area like Boston, with some of the best doctors in the world, has trouble diagnosing a concussion - if I can’t receive the right treatment and I’m 18 miles from the top concussion specialist, what about the kid in Bozeman, Mont.? The point being that education is not what it needs to be.’’
Twellman was in the care of several neurologists before being properly diagnosed. More than a year after the injury, Twellman was treated by Dr. Robert Cantu, one of the most respected head injury specialists and co-director of the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at Boston University’s School of Medicine.
“There’s a lot more known about the management of concussions in 2011 than in 2008,’’ Cantu told the Associated Press.
Twellman, now a television commentator for the MLS’s Philadelphia Union, said, “The fact [is] the star player for the Revolution couldn’t get an answer for a long time, and I’m in Boston. This is why I am starting the foundation [to raise concussion treatment awareness] - to help someone avoid what I went through.’’
Frank Dell’Apa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.