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Players would welcome NBA concussion policy

By Colin Fly

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, March 10 2011 3:01 p.m. MST

"They didn't test us for anything back then. No MRIs, X-rays. If the bone was sticking out they might say, 'Yeah, you need an X-ray,'" Rambis said. "There was probably a lot of cases where guys may or may not have, but the diagnostic testing is much more accurate now and there's much more intensity to getting players checked for everything and anything than there was back then."

In the NBA, six players have missed games in the past four weeks with concussions or concussion-like symptoms. The injuries, and particularly the incident involving Paul, have gotten the attention of many players.

They say they're looking to the league to protect them.

"I'm all for it," Bucks guard John Salmons said. "I was just talking to my wife and saying there's been a lot of concussions lately in basketball. We've had a few on our team, alone, so I think it's a good thing they're looking at it."

Sessions, who didn't know he was the one who Paul ran into until his shoulder hurt the next day, said he hasn't been a part of any educational programs geared toward players learning the warning signs of concussions.

Hornets guard Willie Green, though, talked extensively about the materials he received about the dangers of head injuries in both Philadelphia and New Orleans.

"They pass out handbooks that give you ideas or things to do if you symptoms or if you feel nauseous or what have you — if you get a concussion, these are the steps," Green said. "The doctors and our training staff, they're going to do a great job and take you through all the tests that you need."

Currently, the NBA tracks concussions, but leaves it up to teams to determine the guidelines for when a player can return to the court. Wizards coach Flip Saunders said he believes the franchises do everything they can to make sure the players won't put themselves at risk.

"There's a policy here even on fevers. If you have a fever over 101.5 or whatever, we don't let guys with that sort of fever play because of where you can be with heat," he said. "So whatever they do, anything to protect players from being further hurt, I think everyone in the league's all for that."

For Bogut, the contact in the NBA is as serious as any other pro sport given the elbows and lack of head protection. He fears some players feel they must stay in games and keep their symptoms quiet.

"I've probably played through something like that when I was a rookie, a bit naive. I wanted to play every game. I've gotten to a point where I want to play every game, but it's stupid to put my body in harm for 10, 15 years down the track. It's only money," he said. "If someone's going to take my spot because I miss time with a concussion and I'm out of the rotation, so be it."

AP Sports Writers Dan Gelston in Philadelphia, Jon Krawczynski in Minneapolis, Brett Martel in New Orleans, Antonio Gonzalez in Sacramento, Calif. and AP freelance writers Mike Hipps and Daimon Eklund in Washington contributed to this report.

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