Brown likely out for season

Date published: April 22 2015

Harlequins full-back Mike Brown is unlikely to play again this season as he battles the concussion issues which have plagued him.

Brown has not played any rugby since the end of the Six Nations, having picked up a head knock after a nasty collision with Andrea Masi earlier in the tournament.

A month on, he has not featured for Quins, and director of rugby Conor O'Shea has ruled Brown out of the next two matches.

That leaves Brown with the final game of the season against Newcastle to target, although if Quins make a European play-off, there's a chance he could feature.

However O'Shea insists the player's welfare comes first, with the club confident Brown will be good to go for the World Cup.

"Mike has played just six league games for us this season and it looks like it will probably stay that way," said O’Shea. 

"He comes into see the medics but until he’s symptom free, he won’t resume any sort of training. It’s probably the wrong turn of phrase but it’s doing his head in because he can’t train and is very frustrated. He has headaches throughout the day.

"If it’s an ankle injury, you can grade it and set a timescale. This is more “how long is a piece of string?” Are we worried? Of course we’re worried. He didn’t even enjoy his week away. I feel for him.

"If I said to you ‘go home, you’ll have headaches for the next month and you don’t know when they are going to stop’ – well, that’s a pretty tough place to be and that is where he is at the moment."

"We've only got three games, or five if we get into the play-offs for Europe," he explained to BBC 5 Live.

"If I was a betting man I wouldn't expect to see him back for the match against Bath either in a few weeks' time. Maybe Newcastle [on May 16] but we'll see what is best for the player.

"If you are selfish with an England hat on the best thing for him may be to have a break. He's a competitor and just wants to play, but I think we have done right by the player.

"He will be in training once he gets over the symptoms, but he is not symptom-free.

"Once he is symptom-free he will start a slightly extended return-to-play [process].

"It's nothing long-term or untoward, but everyone saw the knock he took against Italy and he obviously played two more high-intensity matches after taking a mandatory break. He just hasn't been right.

"With knowledge now we have a better way of looking after players, and that's what we will do for Mike.

"We'll look after him, and he will be around playing hopefully five or six years from now in a Harlequins jersey."