TOKYO, Aug 1 (Reuters) – Belgian goalkeeper Alexander Hendrickx returned to the Olympic hockey pitch on Sunday after colliding with a British player’s stick two days earlier, leaving him with a gaping wound to his forehead.
Hendrickx immediately made his mark in Belgium’s 3-1 quarter-final victory over Spain by scoring two goals and taking his Tokyo Olympic tally to 11 out of six games, taking his lead as the tournament’s top scorer. expanded.
“I just felt a big blow and then I knew it was open because the blood was flowing out,” said Hendrickx, recalling the injury in the game against Great Britain.
“It was pouring blood and it seemed like ages before the doctor or anyone else got there. But I could see from everyone’s reaction that it was a huge hole.”
The medical team stitched up the wound in the locker room, Hendrickx said. He avoided a skull fracture, but needed three inner and outer stitches each.
“It was open to the skull so they could check if there was a fracture or not,” he said.
He had an MRI scan on Saturday to make sure he wasn’t at risk of getting back into action. Full control convinced Belgian head coach Shane McLeod to bring him back on the field.
“There’s no fracture. He didn’t have a concussion. He had a clearance from five or six radiologists,” McLeod said.
He also proved too difficult to handle for Spain in their match against the Belgians. “He’s probably the best flick in the world,” said Spanish veteran Alvaro Iglesias Marcos.
Hendrickx wore a headband during the match to protect the wound.
“We made a few jokes about that headband, but this guy is sending missiles,” said teammate Loick Luypaert.
After stitching the cut, Hendrickx posted an Instagram story showing it off, comparing him to Harry Potter, who is known for a lightning-shaped scar on his head.
“Maybe he has a magic wand,” said head coach McLeod.
“That’s another deal.”
Reporting by Daniel Leussink; Editing by Hugh Lawson
Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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