During the off-season, the NBA instituted more rigid guidelines for dealing with concussions.
This is relevant, of course, because Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love suffered a mild concussion when he caught a nasty elbow Wednesday night from Denver's JaVale McGee. Love was immediately dazed and was helped from the court, not to return.
As a precaution, he spent Wednesday night in a Denver hospital.
As such, Love will likely need to fulfill the requirements of the NBA's new concussion policy. ESPN Los Angeles' Brian Kamenetzky analyzed the league's freshly amended concussion guidelines after Kobe Bryant was diagnosed with a concussion sustained in the All-Star Game.
From Kamenetzky's report:
As part of the policy, during the preseason every player in the NBA undergoes baseline neurological testing.
If a player is diagnosed with a concussion, he's no longer allowed to play until cleared in consultation with the NBA's director of the concussion program, Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher, an associate professor of neurology at the University of Michigan.
To gain clearance, a player must return to his symptom free neurological baseline, then complete a series of exertion tests, each growing in difficulty (from a stationary bike to jogging, to agility and individual basketball drills) remaining free of symptoms after each test.
There isn't, according to Kamentezky, an explicit timeframe. Instead, a player's clearance is contingent upon these tests.
During All-Star Weekend, David Stern spoke about the new policy:
I think the teams have been very supportive of that. They may not agree with every single instance, but collectively they agree completely, because they wanted a uniform policy, and competitively our policy is there....And honestly it arms the teams with the ability to say to a player who wants to make an imprudent decision, ‘You can't do that, the league won't let us.'"
In other words, don't expect Love to play in Thursday's game with the Clippers.
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