26 hours ago
Martin Lang advised to call it
A SPORTS medicine expert has called for Penrith's Martin Lang to quit the game and for the NRL to change its "crazy" policy on head knocks.
Lang was KO'd for the 11th time in his career on Sunday after a legitimate tackle in the game against Newcastle.
An official from Sports Medicine Australia fears with so many concussions he is heading for serious long-term damage.
It is the second time he has been knocked out cold this season after a round six controversy in which his coach and father John Lang went on a verbal tirade over the handling of the tackle by Brisbane prop Petero Civoniceva.
"In rugby league you see players being knocked out and then they are back on the field before too long -- I think it's crazy what they're doing," Queensland doctor and SMA official Neville Blomeley said.
"In the case of Martin Lang, if he has been knocked out that many times in a few years then he is really asking for long-term damage.
"If he was my son, after that many, I'd be saying 'let's look at something else'.
"There is a chance he won't (have long-term damage) but there is a chance he will, no one really knows."
Blomeley's comments drew an angry response from John Lang last night.
"It amazes me these doctors who know nothing about Martin's history can make a comment like that," Lang said.
"He's had every test possible and has not come up with a problem," Lang said last night.
"He copped a knock yesterday and he was okay when he came off the field.
"We've been dealing with the best medical professionals who know Martin's history. It's just a cheap, grubby shot when these things get brought up."
Panthers chief executive Shane Richardson also took offence.
"There's no way we as a club are going to make any decision that puts Martin at risk and we do the same for every player. Plus we're not going to allow him to be drummed out of the game by this sort of hysteria."
Lang could be rested for the clash with Melbourne on Sunday due to the latest knock.
There have been a spate of serious bouts of concussion this season. North Queensland prop Shaun Valentine was forced to retire after suffering serious damage from repeated concussions.
Northern Eagles forward, Nathan Long and Wests Tigers utility Lincoln Withers were both on the sidelines for over a month due to heavy bouts of concussion.
The NRL yesterday said there would be no change in policy, writing the SMA's stance off as nothing but opinion.
NRL chief medical officer Hugh Hazard said of Blomeley's comments: "That's his opinion and he is certainly entitled to it."
"No (we won't consider any change or a review of current policy)."