Toronto FC

Toronto FC midfielder Jonathan Osorio reveals true scale of head injury

Chris Smith
Osorio has missed TFC's last four games.
Osorio has missed TFC's last four games. / Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto FC midfielder Jonathan Osorio has revealed the extent of the head injury which has forced him to miss the club's last four MLS matches.

Osorio hasn't featured since TFC's 2-1 defeat to Inter Miami in mid-August. However, it was during a match with the Chicago Fire on July 13th that the Canada international took an elbow to the left side of his head, with concussion protocols ruling him out of a subsequent 1-0 defeat to CF Montreal.

“At the time, when I got the hit, I didn’t feel any symptoms, I just felt the hit which hurt,” Osorio told reporters.

“They checked me at half-time and I was fine. All I could feel was the actual impact of the hit and I thought maybe it’s just a contusion on my head.”

Osorio returned to action for a six-game run starting against Charlotte FC and concluding with that aforementioned defeat to Miami. However, symptoms of 'neurological dysfunction' continued and forced him back onto the sidelines.

“I don’t know how to say this in scientific ways. The best way I can explain it is I got hit on the left side and so now the right side of my brain was compensating for my left. My left (brain) wasn’t working properly,” Osorio explained.

“I was able to play a few games and once the right side wasn’t able to compensate for the left anymore – and it comes back after getting fatigued – that’s when I started feeling headaches and other symptoms.

“I didn’t know how serious it was. After the Miami game, I tried to come back twice. I tried, and the symptoms came back even worse. From people I talked to, when you have a concussion and it gets worse, this is not something to play with. And so it was a little bit frustrating and a little bit scary for me. But I feel like we’re on the right track now.”

Osorio - who was recently linked with Greek giants Panathinaikos - also revealed the effects the injury had on his mental health, particularly struggling to come to terms with the mystery surrounding head injuries.

“The worst thing that happens with this type of thing is your mental health can be affected, and you start to get anxiety,” the 30-year-old said.

“It was just hard to really figure out what it was. I started feeling good after some rest and then I come back to the field and as soon as we ramp it up, I start feeling horrible again. You have an injury that nobody can really tell you what it is, especially about the head.”

All being well Osorio should be cleared for a return to action as Toronto travel to Orlando City on Saturday. The midfielder will then join up with the Canadian Men's National Team for friendlies against Qatar and Uruguay.

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