Luke Keary fears grow after fresh concussion scare: 'Bit of a worry'

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Pictured here, Luke Keary holds his forehead after the latest concussion scare to rock the Roosters star.
Luke Keary was withdrawn from the first half of the match against the Storm in the latest concussion scare to rock the Roosters star. Pic: Getty

Sydney Roosters captain James Tedesco has admitted it was a "bit of a worry" seeing teammate Luke Keary in the latest concussion blow to rock the Tri Colours playmaker.

Keary, who has had longstanding concussion issues, did not return to the field after being taken off for a head injury assessment (HIA) in the 30th minute of his side's 26-18 defeat against Melbourne Storm at the SCG on Saturday night.

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Halves partner Sam Walker was also sent for assessment after a nasty collision with Melbourne's Felise Kaufusi, but was able to play on after being cleared of concussion.

However, Keary was unable to play any further part in the match after being the victim of friendly fire, when the knee of teammate Joseph Manu accidentally struck him on the back of the head.

Attempting to bring down Storm flyer Nick Meaney, the 30-year-old fell to the ground and copped the knee of Manu, leaving him slightly dazed and clutching at his head.

Considering Keary's history with head knocks, the incident sparked immediate concerns from within the rugby league world.

After five head knocks across the 2018 and 2019 seasons, the Roosters playmaker was sent to see a specialist and given five weeks away from the game - ruling him out of the 2019 State of Origin series.

Tedesco admitted that Keary's past made it even more difficult to see his teammate go off in another concussion scare on Saturday night.

“I’ve seen Luke go through a bit of a hard time with that so there’s a bit of a worry when you see him go down and he’s not coming back on,” Tedesco said.

“Hopefully it’s not to the bad extent like it was last time.”

The Roosters know better than most clubs about the issues around concussion after seeing co-captans Boyd Cordner and Jake Friend prematurely retire from the NRL last year, as a result of repeated head knocks.

Roosters coach Trent Robinson admitted after the match that he wasn't sure how to Keary's latest concussion, which was his first since the 2019 campaign.

"He was OK in the sheds but not good enough to go back on the field," Robinson said.

"He got the knock and he's come off, so I can't give you much more than that."

The latest concussion concerns could not come at a worse time for the Roosters with games against Parramatta and Penrith over the next two rounds.

Sam Walker returns for Roosters after head knock

Walker, meanwhile, received a forearm to the face from Kaufusi as he attempted to bring the Storm forward to ground, with his head driven awkwardly into the turf.

Unlike Keary, he did return to the field and Kaufusi's controversial action drew the attention of the NRL's match review committee.

On Sunday, Kaufusi was handed a grade-one dangerous contact charge and escaped with a fine over the incident, meaning he's free to play in State of Origin II.

Kaufusi was given a two-week ban by the NRL for a similar incident involving Parramatta's Ryan Matterson last season.

"I didn't see it but I don't think he got penalised for it," said Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy.

"You think if there was something that was wrong with it you'd expect the bunker to step in if it wasn't within the rules."

Pictured right, the contact to head of Sam Walker that could land Storm forward Felise Kaufusi in a bit of trouble.
Storm forward Felise Kaufusi has come under fire after a brutal incident involving Roosters playmaker Sam Walker. Pic: Getty/Fox Sports

Despite the loss of their two key playmakers for patches of the game, the Roosters were gallant with teenage winger Joseph Suaalii continuing to impress.

Suaalii scored the Roosters' opening try and was held up over the line going for a double.

He also pulled off two try-saving tackles in the first half.

Walker added another try with Marion Seve and debutant Storm winger Grant Anderson both scoring doubles.

Anderson was impressive in his first NRL game and his contribution heartened Bellamy with Origin star Xavier Coates missing for the next eight weeks.

Despite a late try from Roosters backrower Sitili Tupouniua, the Storm held on with Kaufusi rounding out the win with five minutes to go to help his side move to second on the NRL ladder.

with AAP

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