Correct guidelines were followed for Courtois injury insist Chelsea

Chelsea have defended their actions in allowing Thibaut Courtois to carry on playing for a further 13 minutes following a blow to the head, the Telegraph is reporting.

The Belgian shot stopper was eventually substituted and sent to hospital, where he was kept overnight for observation, after it was confirmed he had suffered a mild concussion.

New FA guidelines state a player should leave the field of play “if there has been a confirmed or suspected period of loss of consciousness”.

The guidelines were revamped after a number of blows to the head were sustained by players last season, especially goalkeepers, with Hugo Lloris of Tottenham suffering a particularly big impact to the head but refusing to leave the field despite club doctors trying to take him off.

It was unclear whether or not Courtois had indeed lost consciousness – he lay on the floor appearing to not respond momentarily to players around him – but after club doctor Eva Carniero assessed the player for 56 seconds it was decided he was fit enough to continue.

However Petr Cech soon replaced Courtois in goal after he appeared to start bleeding from the ear.

Former Major League Soccer player Taylor Twellman, who retired from the game due to head injuries, criticised the handling of the situation on Twitter.

He wrote: “So you guys want me to be convinced that the EPL Concussion Protocol has made a difference?! Courtois wasn’t evaluated properly.”

Mourinho defended the decision by his staff after Courtois was withdrawn when it became clear he should not carry on.

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