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Alex Greenwood: England defender stretchered off after suffering head injury in Nations League contest with Belgium

England defender Alex Greenwood was treated on the pitch for 13 minutes in the first half before she was stretchered off; Lionesses manager Sarina Wiegman said after the 3-2 Nations League defeat in Belgium that Greenwood was "walking around" and "doing fine"

Alex Greenwood was treated on the pitch for 13 minutes following a clash of heads
Image: Alex Greenwood was treated on the pitch for 13 minutes following a clash of heads

Alex Greenwood will return home on Wednesday as she continues her recovery from the head injury she suffered on international duty.

Greenwood was carried off on a stretcher after being involved in a clash of heads during England's Nations League match against Belgium on Tuesday evening.

The defender collided with Belgian forward Jassina Blom after 20 minutes, leaving both players down on the turf.

Greenwood received treatment - including oxygen - on the field for about 13 minutes before being placed on a stretcher and taken off, with Jess Carter coming on as her replacement. Blom was able to continue with a head bandage and was eventually substituted in the 74th minute.

Greenwood is carried off on a stretcher in Belgium
Image: Greenwood was carried off on a stretcher in Belgium

Manchester City have now issued an update on Greenwood's condition, confirming she is "alert and well".

"Alex Greenwood will return to the City Football Academy for further medical assessments after sustaining a head injury on international duty," the club added on Wednesday afternoon.

"We can confirm she has been carefully monitored, is alert and well and will return home later today ahead of a review with our medical team."

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Sky Sports News understands that Greenwood did not require hospital treatment on Tuesday night and that the England medical team found her well enough to continue treating her in the stadium.

Speaking after England's 3-2 defeat, manager Sarina Wiegman said: "Alex Greenwood is fine. I've not spoken to her or the doctor. She is walking around and is okay, but she has a concussion. It is good news that she's walking and doing fine."

Having been a goal down at the time of the incident via Laura De Neve's free-kick, the Lionesses turned things around through goals from Lucy Bronze and Fran Kirby putting them 2-1 up heading into first-half stoppage time.

Belgium captain Tessa Wullaert (45+6), however, scored the first of her two goals just before the break to level for the hosts. And grabbed the vital winner from the penalty spot Georgia Stanway's handball with five minutes of normal time remaining.

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Sky Sports' Anton Toloui analyses the Lionesses' 3-2 loss to Belgium in the Women's Nations League

Greenwood is tough and tenacious

Sky Sports News' Anton Toloui in Leuven:

"Not long after Alex Greenwood was stretchered off, the doctors told the England team that she was OK. She was conscious, walking around and talking. All positive steps and she didn't need to go to hospital in Leuven and she received all her medical treatment at the stadium. That's a huge positive for Greenwood.

"Sarina Wiegman admitted that she, the players and the coaching team were really worried about Greenwood. She was down on the pitch for 12 minutes, with Mary Earps telling us that it's never nice to see a team-mate in a neck brace and oxygen mask on. There were massive concerns but the positive news is she is ok.

"It's a head injury so no risks are ever taken. But this is Greenwood's second concussion whilst playing for England in the space of a year. Remember the Finalissima at Wembley this time last year? She suffered a nasty blow to the head, actually passed the concussion protocols, carried on the game, scored a penalty in the shootout win and then showed concussion symptoms after the game. So she will still be monitored by the medical team today.

"Remember, she played in the World Cup final wearing a head band after a nasty facial injury. So you don't get many players as tough and tenacious as Alex Greenwood, but she will still be monitored by the doctors."

Did Greenwood's injury have a detrimental effect in England's defeat?

Sky Sports' Charlotte Marsh:

"In many ways, yes. Not because of the incident itself, although it will surely have affected the players to see their team-mate and friend stretchered off, but her defensive qualities were sorely missed.

"Greenwood was one of England's best players at a sometimes underwhelming World Cup for other members of the squad. Although England's defence has struggled in recent games - keeping just one clean sheet in seven games - there is a comfort knowing Greenwood is there to often have a vital impact.

"Perhaps this was best demonstrated with two first half chances for Wullaert. The first inside six minutes saw the Belgium captain drive through after a sloppy midfield pass. However, Greenwood just dropped back to play Wullaert offside and the flag eventually went up.

"Later, as Wullaert raced through to equalise for Belgium, neither Millie Bright or Jess Carter could get close to the striker. While positioning would also have been different, Greenwood's tactical thinking and defensive abilities were certainly missed in that moment.

"Her ability on the ball and the subsequent errors made in her absence were a huge part of the Lionesses downfall too, with Lucy Bronze telling ITV Sport: "Alex having to come off when she's one of our key ball players didn't help, but a similar thing happened against Holland when we gave the ball away too easily".

"Hopefully, Greenwood will recover well from her concussion and be available for England's vital final Nations League games in December. It's clear she will be a huge loss otherwise."

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