Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Toughness has nothing to do with it.

We've tried to warn against having high expectations that Tebow will return in time for the LSU game. But all day we've heard on local and national radio that he's been cleared to play against LSU. But he hasn't. Ben Volin has more here.

Tim Tebow’s tolerance for pain is legendary.

“I’m not a medical guy, but he’s the toughest guy in college football, without question,” offensive coordinator Steve Addazio said Monday.

Tebow played with with a broken leg in high school; with a broken hand in 2007; with a hyperextended knee and bum shoulder in 2008; with one of the worst respiratory illnesses known to mankind in 2009.

But this concussion is unlike any other injury Tebow has had. He can’t toughen up and play through it.

“You can’t fix the brain. You only get one,” said ESPN analyst Merrill Hoge, whose NFL career ended in 1994 after suffering two major concussions.

The only remedy is rest and time. The generally-accepted waiting period, developed by Dr. Robert Cantu in the mid-1980s, is seven days without any post-concussion symptoms, in both periods of rest and maximum physical exertion.

So any talk this week about Tebow being ready for LSU on Oct. 10 is premature.

“It would not be unexpected that his symptoms clear up as the week goes along, and he’d be good to go next weekend,” Cantu said. “But there’s no way anybody today can make that statement.”

Concussion experts stress that the seven days without symptoms must be consecutive. For Tebow to play against LSU, he must return to physical activity by Saturday at the latest, and cannot relapse.

“If he’s asymptomatic for four days, and then he starts getting a headache, it starts over,” Hoge said. “So if this happens next Tuesday, then he shouldn’t play at all, no question.”


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