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Top player out cold before big match

Norwegian football star John Arne Riise was recovering on Tuesday at Ullevål University Hospital in Oslo, after suffering a concussion during Monday’s practice session for Tuesday’s important qualifier match against Portugal.

Mar. 27, 2010 - Rome, Italy - epa02095396 AS Roma's Norwegian player John Arne Riise (R) vies for the ball with Inter Milan's Serbian player Dejan Stankovic (L) during the Italian Serie A soccer match against AS Roma at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, Italy, 27 March 2010.

“I could see that this was serious,” says team doctor, Thor Einar Andersen. A duel with teammate Espen Ruud resulted in a collision and Riise fell to the ground in convulsions. He was unconscious for several minutes.

The accident scared Riise’s teammates including veteran John Carew. “Football is a contact sport and these things can happen, but you never get used to it,” Carew told newspaper Aftenposten.

Andersen told that “only a heart siezure is more dramatic than this.” Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that Riise was feeling better on Tuesday but would miss the national squad’s match against Portugal and was expected to be out of action for several weeks.

“I’ve been feeling groggy all day. I can’t remember a thing about what happened,” Riise reported on his website Monday evening. The Norwegian national and Roma player (PicApp photo above) was also supposed to play against Cagliari in the Serie A in Italy on Saturday.

The 30-year-old Riise is a cornerstone of the Norwegian attack in the run-up to the European championships in 2012, which was due to kick off at 8:25pm on home turf at Ullevaal Stadium in Oslo.

Norwegian head coach Egil “Drillo” Olsen regretted the last-minute loss of Riise, admitting to Aftenposten that his position is one his team was “worst prepared” to replace.

Views and News from Norway/Sven Goll
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