Mastroeni leaves match after blow to the head

Captain taken off as precaution, will be further evaluated

Pablo Mastroeni on March 10, 2012

Photo Credit: 
Garrett Ellwood / Colorado Rapids

Commerce City, Colo. - If there's a negative to be taken from the otherwise exciting opening day win, it was the head injury sustained by Rapids captain Pablo Mastroeni.

In the 72nd, Columbus' Olmar Vargas was whistled for a foul on Mastroeni near midfield. Referee Hilario Grajeda issued Vargas a yellow card for his arm / elbow making contact with the back of Mastroeni's head.

After being attended to by Head Athletic Trainer Jaime Rojas on the field, Mastroeni was helped to the sideline and then replaced by Wells Thompson two minutes later.

The team said Mastroeni was removed as a precaution based on the concussion he sustainted in the last regular season home game of 2011 and because of a recent knock to the head he took in a preseason game in Hawaii.

Mastroeni remained hunched over in front of the bench for a short time before being escorted to the locker room, walking on his own.

Per Major League Soccer's protocol on head injuries, Mastroeni will be given a cognitive test (imPACT Test) to better gauge his condition. He will be administered the test on Monday. If he passes and is symptom free, he will need the approval of the team doctor and neuropsychologist before returning to competition.

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