Daniel Bryan Doctor Who Cleared WWE Return Says MRI Showed No Prior Brain Injury

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 23, 2018

In this April 6, 2014 photo, Daniel Bryan reacts during Wrestlemania XXX at the Mercedes-Benz Super Dome in New Orleans. Bryan was on top of the wrestling world when he won the WWE championship at WrestleMania in 2014. But he is finished just two years later at 35, a victim of at least 10 concussions that ended his career and showed how real-life injuries interrupt fantasy endings.  (Jonathan Bachman/AP Images for WWE)
Jonathan Bachman/Associated Press

One of the doctors who evaluated WWE star Daniel Bryan said the three-time world champion's MRI results didn't reveal any long-term neurological issues that would've prevented his return to the ring.

"I determined that Bryan is currently asymptomatic, has a normal detailed neurological and cognitive neuropsychological examination, normal EEG, and an MRI that showed no definite evidence of a prior brain injury," Dr. Robert Cantu said in an interview with Newsweek's Tufayel Ahmed. "It is my medical opinion that there is no absolute contraindication to his return to in-ring action in WWE."

WWE announced Tuesday that Bryan had received medical clearance to continue wrestling after he had retired for health reasons in February 2016.

When he gave his retirement speech, Bryan outlined how doctors had advised him not to wrestle anymore, which stemmed from the multiple concussions he suffered over his career.

Bryan added in a subsequent interview on SportsCenter he had hid the physical effects of the concussions, such as seizures, that he had been dealing with.

Following his retirement, Bryan sought out the advice of specialists to see if he'd ever be able to wrestle again. During his return on SmackDown Live, he discussed how his wife, former WWE star Brie Bella, had pushed him to see as many doctors as necessary.

In the statement announcing Bryan's comeback, WWE said he "underwent a full review of his medical history and received comprehensive neurological and physical evaluations independent of WWE." Each doctor cleared Bryan, and Dr. Joseph Maroon, WWE's medical director, gave the green light as well. 

WWE wasted little time allowing Bryan to get back into the swing of things. He was the victim of an attack by Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens to close out SmackDown Live on Tuesday, which is likely setting a match between the team of Zayn and Owens against Bryan and SmackDown Live commissioner Shane McMahon.

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