Mertens ‘couldn’t feel his legs’

Belgium’s team doctor has revealed that Dries Mertens feared for his career after being stretchered off against Wales, with the winger unable to feel his legs.

The Napoli player was knocked unconscious in a clash of heads with George Williams during the Euro 2016 qualifier, and was rushed to hospital.

Belgium’s team doctor has revealed that Dries Mertens feared for his career after being stretchered off against Wales, with the winger unable to feel his legs.

The Napoli player was knocked unconscious in a clash of heads with George Williams during the Euro 2016 qualifier, and was rushed to hospital.

Kris van Crombrugge said yesterday that Mertens should be fit for Napoli’s game with Cagliari at the weekend, but has today spoken of the grave condition the player was in after the incident.

“What happened to him was terrible,” Van Crombrugge told Radio CRC.

“The other players knew right away it was something serious because he was not conscious and he didn’t move for a minute.

“We immediately immobilised him on the stretcher to avoid incurring further damage. He was paralysed after the injury, then after 24 hours the situation returned to normal.

“He was worried when he couldn’t move his legs, so it’s important he’s regained the use of his limbs.

“He was shocked, and immediately asked for assurances about his career. The fright was as terrible as the impact.

“I’m in constant contact with [Napoli team doctor] Alfonso De Nicola and [Coach] Rafa Benitez. I’ll probably be in Naples with the boy tomorrow.

“He’s fine now, but he feared for his career when he couldn’t feel his legs.

“Anyway, he’ll return [to Naples] by the weekend, then he’ll have another test and we’ll decide whether he can play.”

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