Incredibly Goretzka scored the first goal for his side after the collision – but questions will be asked why he was allowed to continue
QUESTIONS will be asked of the Schalke medical team after it was revealed star midfielder Leon Goretzka played for almost 45 minutes with a double fracture of his jaw and severe concussion.
And incredibly, despite vomiting during the half-time interval and “spending most of the break with the club’s doctors”, he played on until he was substituted six minutes from time.
The 22-year-old was injured in the dying seconds of the first half, when he was involved in a sickening accidental collision with Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana.
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As the whistle blew to end the first 45, both players received treatment, which for Goretzka, continued into the dressing room.
He re-appeared for the second half, and incredibly scored Schalke’s opening goal in the 53rd minute, despite still suffering from the collision.
He was eventually replaced in the 84th minute, and worryingly, had to be helped off the field by the Schalke medical staff.
German football magazine Kicker reported how the midfielder vomited at half-time, with team-mate Benedikt Howedes saying: “I don’t know what he has exactly. He spent more time with the doctors than with us in the dressing room during the break.
“But he gave everything, and we are very proud of him and hope that it’s not all that dramatic.”
He was replaced on the pitch by Johannes Geis, and was immediately taken to hospital where it was discovered he had two fractures in his jaw and was suffering with concussion.
Goretzka had put his Schalke side into a 53rd-minute lead at the Veltins-Arena against their Dutch opposition.
Further strikes from Guido Burgstaller and Daniel Caligiuri put the Germans into a 3-0 lead as the teams battled in extra-time.
But Ajax, who were 2-0 up from the first leg, scored twice in extra time through Nick Viergever and Amin Younes to seal their passage into the Europa League semi-finals.
Leading German sports writer Stefan Bienkowski tweeted out that the player was “sorely let down by the Schalke medical team”, and there could well be questions to be asked on why he was allowed to continue.
Others have also voiced their concerns on social media.