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SPORTS UPDATE

Nathan Baker forced to retire over head injury

Bristol City defender Nathan Baker has retired from professional football after doctors determined continuing to play would present a “significant risk” to his health.

Baker sustained a head injury in the Robins’ match at Sheffield United on November 28th, 2021 requiring 24 hours of hospitalisation.

The 31-year-old made his decision following nine months of tests, treatment and recuperation and on the advice from his medical team.

He said: “Football has been a massive part of my life from a very young age, so this has not been the easiest decision for me, however I must take the advice from the medical team and consultants.

“It’s sad to think I won’t be playing football again, there are so many things I am going to miss, such as my team-mates, the friendships made, plus a good tackle! But I must put my health and family first, it’s not worth the risk.”

Baker joined Bristol City on loan from Aston Villa in 2015, then made his move permanent on a £3.5 million deal.

A club statement stressed that Baker “is currently well, without any neurological or cognitive issues, but is likely to be monitored with further neuro-psychology testing in the future”.

“Having assessed his progression over a period of nine months, Nathan has been advised by medical professionals that to carry on playing at a professional level would represent a significant risk to his ongoing and future health,” the statement added.

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