We all knew it was coming. It was inevitable. The fall Jaylen Brown took in the game against Minnesota had virtually every Boston fan saying, "Oh no, not again!", remembering the tragic Gordon Hayward injury. But Jaylen generally appears to be okay, avoiding what appeared to be a possible long-term injury and recovery.

So it is certain that Brown will miss at least a few games. Here is MassLive's Tom Westerholm on the process:

The NBA's concussion protocol states that Brown won't be able to return until he can pass a variety of tests. First, he needs to be able to demonstrate a lack of concussion symptoms at rest. Brown will need to be examined by a physician again, and he will need to pass the NBA's return-to-participation exertion protocol. Finally, the team's physician will need to discuss Brown's process and results with the director of the league's concussion program.

We can most likely expect Jaylen to miss roughly 4-6 games as he recovers. In the past, NBA players often returned to the same game after such a fall. That, thankfully, is no longer the case. The following is a conclusion following research by A. S. Padaki et al:

Although the incidence of publicly reported concussions in the NBA has not changed appreciably over the past 9 seasons, the time missed after a concussion has. While players often returned in the same game in the 2006 season, the combination of implemented policy, national coverage, medical staff awareness, and player education may have contributed to players now missing an average of 4 to 6 games after a concussion. A multitude of factors has resulted in more conservative return-to-play practices for NBA players after concussions.

We now know that repeated head trauma, at very least, is a risk factor for ALS or a syndrome that mimics ALS. >Here is pbs.org's Dr. Howard Merkel on the subject:

repetitive head trauma experienced in collision sports may be associated with the development of motor-neuron disease. In other words, repetitive head trauma, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) may result in a syndrome that mimics ALS. (Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology. 2010; 69 (9): 918-929)

My father died at the age of 64 from ALS, or a neuro-muscular disease that mimicked ALS. It would be difficult to envision a more devastating disease. The NBA's cautious approach on concussions is commendable. We need Jaylen back, but he needs to take his time.

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Photo via Michael Reaves/Getty Images North America

Tom Lane 3/10/2018 06:16:00 AM Edit
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