Liam Fulton had to retire due to concussion and has urged people to trust the doctors with Boyd Cordner’s future.
Cordner’s career hangs in the balance after the Blues skipper suffered another head knock in the Origin opener before passing his HIA and finishing the game.
It comes after the Roosters back-rower missed five games mid-season after suffering a concussion at the captain’s run prior to round 11.
Cordner then failed to finish the round 18 clash against Newcastle after slamming his head on the SCG turf attempting to score a try.
The innocuous incident led to some calls for the back-rower to retire, but he returned a fortnight later and played the final three games of the season.
Boyd Cordner is helped from the field in Origin I. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Fulton understands Cordner’s struggles given he was forced to hang up the boots in 2014 after 162 NRL matches because of the impact of multiple concussions.
The Wests Tigers forward was just 29 but was told it could be “catastrophic” if he copped another head knock after bouts of short-term memory loss and confusion.
From experience, though, Fulton knows players must trust the doctor’s instincts on concussion.
“The doctor obviously knows about Boyd’s past, and he wouldn’t have let him return to the field if he wasn’t fine,” Fulton said.
“I don’t know how Boyd feels about his concussion and he may have felt fine.
“There are smarter people out there who should say what Boyd should or shouldn’t do.
“I still believe that Boyd has a lot of time left in footy, and the doctor will make the right decision.”
Former Wests Tigers forward Liam Fulton understands Boyd Cordner’s struggles because of multiple concussions. Picture: Gregg PorteousSource:News Corp Australia
Fulton has also backed NSW coach Brad Fittler to handle Cordner’s concussions correctly.
“I know that Brad would never put his players at risk,” he said.
“He wouldn’t care about the result if it meant he was putting his players in danger.
“That is what Freddie is like as a person, so if Boyd wasn’t right he wouldn’t have come back on.
“The Roosters are also at the forefront of looking after players. I know Trent Robinson really looks after his players with concussion.”
As recently as last year, Fulton had to be wary of bumping his head, so he fully understands the seriousness of concussion and its affects.
“I got out at the right time,” he said.
“Looking back, I didn’t want to retire, but I’m glad I listened to the doctors and my wife.
“There is a lot more to life than footy and no one really knows what the long-term damages of concussion are.”
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