Wolverhampton Wanderers goalkeeper Rui Patricio was stretchered off in the waning minutes of the club’s 1-0 loss to Liverpool on Monday, becoming the Premier League‘s first player to be substituted off under the new concussion rule.
With Wolves having already made three substitutes during the match, Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo was allowed to replace Patricio with backup keeper John Ruddy.
The game halted as medical staff tended to Patricio for nearly 15 minutes, with the officials then adding seven minutes of extra-time. Patricio did not appear to move while he laid on the pitch but afterward Espirito Santo said he was conscious.
“He’s conscious, he remembers what happened and is aware,” Espirito Santo said following the match.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was also relieved to hear about that Patricio was alert.
“It was an awful situation. I have spoken to Wolves staff, they are rather positive. It was a proper shock,” Klopp said.
Liverpool forward Diogo Jota, who scored the game’s lone goal in the first half, also expressed his thoughts to his fellow countryman.
“Life is more important, we wish Rui Patricio a speedy recovery,” Jota added.
The concussion substitute rule was implemented following an incident that also involved a Wolves player, when Raul Jimenez clashed heads with Arsenal‘s David Luiz in a Nov. 29 match. Jimenez, who watched Monday’s game from the Molineux stands, has yet to return to action after that injury, in which he suffered a fractured skull and underwent surgery.
The concussion rule was used in a FA Cup match on Feb. 9, when West Ham United defender Issa Diop clashed heads with Manchester United forward Anthony Martial, with Ryan Fredericks coming on for Diop.