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Baseball addresses concussions issue

Major leagues are instituting a seven-day disabled list to allow teams to maintain a full roster without jeopardizing a player's health.

March 29, 2011|By Bill Shaikin
  • Minnesota Twins first baseman Justin Morneau missed the second half of the 2010 season after suffering a concussion.
Minnesota Twins first baseman Justin Morneau missed the second half of… (Charles Krupa / Associated…)

A seven-day disabled list will be used this season for players who have suffered concussions, enabling teams to maintain a full roster without jeopardizing the health of those whose symptoms have yet to clear up.

Since symptoms are often resolved in five to seven days, teams and players have been reluctant to use the 15-day disabled list.

"The one thing you don't want to do is put someone in position the day after or two days later all of a sudden by saying, 'Are you feeling OK?' " Minnesota Twins first baseman Justin Morneau told the Associated Press. "The worst thing you can do with a concussion is rush back to play."

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The seven-day list should remove temptation for players to downplay their symptoms and return to the lineup rather than wait two weeks.

"They don't have to rush back," Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti said. "They can do what's best for them, which is what they should do."

Morneau sat out the second half last season after a concussion. The seven-day term of the new list is a minimum, and players with concussions who do not return within 14 days will be transferred to the 15-day list.

"It gives the player an evaluation period without paralyzing a team for 15 days for something that might keep him out five, six or seven days," Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said of the new option.

Baseball's new concussion protocol also calls for players to undergo a baseline neurological examination each year, establishes guidelines for evaluating affected players and umpires, and mandates that each team associate with a brain trauma specialist.

bill.shaikin@latimes.com

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