News of a significant retirement in the sport of rugby (Union or League) rarely makes the press in America, however the first I have found attributed to concussions made its way stateside, via Chicago Tribune and Reuters;
Former England back-rower Michael Lipman has quit the Melbourne Rebels after suffering severe headaches and “haziness” following a concussion during the Super Rugby season.
Lipman had informed his team mates this week, Melbourne’s The Age newspaper reported, but the decision had been brewing for some time, a Melbourne Rebels spokesman said on Wednesday.[...]
“The bottom line is that throughout my career I’ve had so many bangs to the head and I’ve had so much concussion … the last couple have been the icing on the cake,” Lipman told The Age.
“I’ve just had too many. Enough’s enough and when you’re body’s talking to you like it is now, you’ve got to listen to it and be sensible because the hardest thing in anything really is to admit that your time is up and to come to terms with it.
“(The headache) is always there and you can feel the pressure in your head and when you start running and training it makes it a lot worse.
“You’re just very confused really, and you’re hazy and you’re very clouded and not many things make sense.
“You just become very, very tired. You become exhausted straight away and you feel like going to sleep, when it should really be the opposite, because when you start working and training, the endorphins release and you get a pick-up. You shouldn’t get totally down the way I’ve been.”
Lipman had also revealed that he had ignored medical advice to quit rugby due to his concussion-related symptoms when playing for Bath, The Age said.
Candid discussion about his own health, Lipman shines a bright light on a sport that has been flying under the radar in regards to concussion problems. Without the head-gear that American Footballers use the subconcussive blows reach the brain much easier, which could lead to quicker symptomatology and longer lasting sequale.
Perhaps this will signal other athletes in the sport to respect concussions a bit more, even in a sport known for its extreme toughness.