Taras Stepanenko: I have no concussion, but I can’t open the eye

In the match against Rapid, Shakhtar midfielder was seriously injured. Being covered in blood, Taras Stepanenko was taken away right off the pitch by ambulance. The following day, the holding midfielder of Shakhtar was going back to Ukraine with the bandaged head and a swollen eye. We talked to Taras on the plane.

- Thank God, I’ve got no concussion. After the match, they took me to the hospital and examined me. They Х-rayed my head at different angles. Then a neurosurgeon came and tested my reflexes. And using a local anaesthetic, they put seven or eight stitches in there, I can’t remember the exact number, they told me to have them removed in a week.

- Mister said that you didn’t feel your hand ...
- Right, probably, because of the impact my hand got numb, but at the moment everything is fine.

- Can you remember the moment of collision?
- Yes, I jumped, had a nasty crack on the head - and was already lying on the ground.

- Do you often suffer head injuries, cuts ...
- You see, my role is like that – I have to fight always using my head. This time, it happened again: both of us jumped for the ball. That’s a regular game thing, which could happen to anyone. In such episodes you just feel immediate pain, while yesterday I even saw the blood running!

- How do you feel at the moment?
- Better now. They gave me some pills and I slept fine. The only thing I can’t do is opening my right eye, I can’t see anything with it yet. And the head aches a bit. But that’s all right, in a couple of days everything will be fine. So if the recovery goes well, I will be able to take part in the second leg against Rapid.