After further testing Wednesday, Paul George has been diagnosed with a concussion and must clear the NBA’s protocol before playing in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Miami Heat.
George was injured when he collided with the knee of Dwyane Wade and said after the Pacers’ loss to the Heat that he had “blacked out” and had “blurry” vision. George left the game only briefly, raising questions about how the team had handled the injury and whether he had been properly assessed.
The Pacers issued a clarification along with the update Wednesday afternoon, saying that George exhibited no symptoms, either immediately after the collision or after he confessed to having blacked out. “This case illustrates that concussion evaluation is an ongoing process and manifestations of the injury may not always present immediately,” Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher, director of the NBA Concussion Program, said in the Pacers’ statement.
The full statement from the team:
Tuesday night, Indiana Pacers forward Paul George took a knee to the back of his head during the fourth quarter of the Eastern Conference Finals game against Miami. Immediately after the play, George exhibited no symptoms of a concussion and, in response to questions from the Pacers’ medical staff, he denied dizziness, nausea, and issues with his vision. He was also active and aware of his surroundings. As a result, the Indiana medical staff did not suspect a concussion.
Following the game, George stated for the first time that he “blacked out” on the play. As a result of this statement, the team conducted the NBA-mandated concussion assessment, which did not reveal any active symptoms of concussion.
Because of the statement and Indiana’s ongoing evaluation and management of potential concussions, George underwent further testing and evaluation Wednesday morning. He has been diagnosed by the team’s consulting neurologist with a concussion, based on his post-game reporting that he had briefly lost consciousness during the game. He will begin the NBA-mandated protocol for return-to-participation after a diagnosed concussion.
Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher, Director of the NBA Concussion Program, has been in contact with the team medical staff and stated, “The Indiana Pacers medical team followed the NBA concussion protocol and there was no indication of concussion during the game. This case illustrates that concussion evaluation is an ongoing process and manifestations of the injury may not always present immediately.”
The NBA, like the NFL and Major League Baseball, has a concussion protocol that states: “If a player is suspected of having a concussion, or exhibits the signs or symptoms of concussion, they will be removed from participation and undergo evaluation by the medical staff in a quiet, distraction-free environment conducive to conducting a neurological evaluation.”