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Team USA Rugby player recovering after suffering severe head injury in San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO - A Team USA olympian is in a San Antonio hospital recovering after a sports-related injury over the weekend.

Team USA beat Uruguay in the opening round of the America's Rugby Championship, but a head injury that didn't seem like a big deal meant that silver medalist Zack Test needed immediate attention.

A solid performance for USA Rugby on Feb. 4 at Toyota Field, and like any rugby match, it came with lots of scrums and plenty of tough runs.

But USA Eagle Zack Test suffered an injury, that the announcers at first speculated it might be his ankle, but after sitting on the sideline for a few minutes, it was clear it was much more than that.

"One of our athletes was injured on the field," said Dr. Matt Schmitz, orthopedic surgeon. "We suspected a serious head injury and he was rushed to San Antonio Military Medical Center. With World Rugby and USA Rugby our mantra is recognize and remove those players. Get them out of potential repeat head injuries."

Zack underwent surgery and is still at SAMMC in stable condition.

While we don't know the type of head injury Zack suffered, we do know it required immediate medical attention.

"The most common type of head trauma is mild traumatic brain injury or concussion," said Dr. Troy Johnson, emergency medicine physician. "The most catastrophic is subdural hematoma- bleeding around the brain. You need a neurosurgeon to evacuate the blood."

Johnson was one of the team doctors on the sidelines.

As physical a sport as rugby is, Johnson said it is only 17th in the U.S. when it comes to injuries.

"Cycling is number 1, even more than football at number 2."

No matter the sport or the age of the athlete, when there is a head injury, it needs to be taken seriously and a head injury assessment could easily save someone's life.


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