Ghana defender Mensah plays first game after head injury in 2023 Afcon qualifier

Jonathan Mensah of Ghana during the 2022 World Cup Qualifier.BackpagePix.

Ghana defender Jonathan Mensah played his first match since suffering a career-threatening head injury during the Black Stars' 1-1 draw with Central African Republic in a 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on June 5.

Mensah managed all 90 minutes for MLS side Columbus Crew as they played to a barren draw with Real Salt Lake at the Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday.

Mensah was stretched off and taken straight into an ambulance following a clash of heads with CAR’s Peter Guinari while defending a corner in the clash at the Estadio 11 de Novembro in Luanda, Angola.

The incident led to a five-minute stoppage as both players received treatment on the pitch and while neither could manage to continue, the Ghanaian came off worse.

Ghana Football Association (GFA) had assured fans that Mensah was out of danger and responding well to treatment after the injury that saw him leave the pitch heavily bandaged on the head.

“Defender Jonathan Mensah is in a stable condition and responding to treatment at Clinica Girasol, a private hospital in Luanda, Angola,” GFA said.

“The Columbus Crew man suffered a head injury during the second half of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier between the Central African Republic and Ghana at the 11 du Novembro Stadium in Luanda on Sunday, June 5, 2022,” GFA added.

“The defender suffered a headbutt from an opponent resulting in a concussion. He was given emergency treatment on the pitch before being rushed to the hospital for further treatment. CT Scans confirmed normal findings but would have to spend the night at the hospital for further assessment and evaluation.”

“We would like to call on Ghanaians, friends, and family to remain calm as the Black Stars medical team works around the clock to get him back on his feet.”

Mensah was back on his feet the following day after being discharged from hospital but he could not make the team’s trip to Japan for the Kirin Cup.

The 31-year-old returned to training last week after being declared fit and coach Caleb Porter got him straight back into the team.

Mensah, who has 69 caps for Ghana, has been a mainstay at central defence for Columbus Crew whom he joined in 2017, making 145 appearances while scoring seven goals.

Mensah is back

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