Defender was not knocked out and was fine to play on following clash of heads, says Stevenage boss

Bira Dembele receives treatment. Photo: Harry Hubbard

Bira Dembele receives treatment. Photo: Harry Hubbard - Credit: Archant

Centre-half received seven stitches following clash of heads with Southend’s Michael Timlin

Graham Westley says there was no risk to Bira Dembele playing on after the defender picked up a head injury against Southend United.

The centre-half suffered a clash of heads with United’s Michael Timlin in the first half with both players receiving extensive treatment on the pitch before play resumed.

Timlin was taken off by Southend, and later received 15 stitches, while Dembele was deemed fine to continue by Boro’s medical staff and did so until half-time, when he was replaced by Jon Ashton and given seven stitches.

Afterwards, Westley said: “The opinion that matters is the opinion of the player and the doctor. Those are the ones who make the decision in those circumstances, and neither of them thought it was a risk.

“He’s very sore, as you’d expect. He’s got a big cut to his head, just like the boy Timlin.

“Fifteen stitches to seven is the outcome, with both boys having sore heads tonight. It’s too early to say [if Dembele will be ready for the second leg], you’ve got to let these things settle down.

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“[Dembele] thinks he has [a chance]...he didn’t go out, there wasn’t a knock out. He’s got a seven-stitch gash and we’ll see how that settles down for Tuesday.”

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