Daniel James, Ryan Giggs Talk Head Injury in Wales Draw with Croatia

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistOctober 14, 2019

CARDIFF, WALES - OCTOBER 13: Daniel James of Wales lies on the ground knocked out during the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier between Wales and Croatia at Cardiff City Stadium on October 13, 2019 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)
Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Daniel James has said he was not knocked out in his collision with Domagoj Vida playing for Wales against Croatia on Sunday, and manager Ryan Giggs added the winger's reaction was "a bit of acting." 

James collided with Vida near the halfway line in the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier, and there was great concern for him as he lay on the Cardiff turf:

Gaz Drinkwater @Radio_Gaz

Man that looked like Dan James was out cold. Is he good?

Laurie Whitwell @lauriewhitwell

James is back on and, it seems, with it. He had looked to be out cold from Vida's knee but fears allayed #mufc

He was allowed to return to action after being checked over, and Wales earned a 1-1 draw, with Gareth Bale's goal cancelling out Nikola Vlasic's opener.

After the match, Manchester United's James commented on the incident, per Sky Sports (h/t Sam France of Goal):

"[I'm] fine. He caught me in the head. I didn't get knocked out. We knew it was going to be tough. It was a quick turnaround. We started well, although we conceded.

"To get the goal back showed character. There were a few tackles flying in, but you expect that in these games. We've shown what a great team we are. It was about bouncing back."

Giggs, meanwhile, also said James had not been badly hurt in the incident:

"Dan James went down and stayed down. A bit of acting really. The medical staff went over. He was compos mentis. We did tests at half-time, and he passed them. He's fine."

Per Sky Sports' Liam Grace, Giggs added: "He stayed down and was a bit streetwise. He told the doctors 'I'm not moving, I'm just sitting still.' Not to get anyone sent off, he was just using his nous."

BBC Sport's Simon Stone was prepared to accept the explanation given by James and his manager:

Simon Stone @sistoney67

On Dan James. In current climate, all medical teams, managers etc know their reputations are on the line regarding head injuries. Beyond belief someone could get knocked out and just be allowed to carry on. Giggs says James was pretending. Is more plausible than the alternative.

It was a nasty collision, though, and United's medical staff will likely be eager to ensure James is fully recovered ahead of their clash with Liverpool on Sunday.

With the international break drawing to a close, the focus will now return to club football, and the Red Devils desperately need to pick up some points.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side have not won in five matches in all competitions, and last time out they lost 1-0 to Newcastle United:

B/R Football @brfootball

Manchester United in an image: https://t.co/XifrZxBUx2

They could hardly have asked for a harder fixture in which to rediscover some winning form than Sunday's visit of Liverpool to Old Trafford.

The Reds are eight points clear at the top of the 2019-20 Premier League table and have won their last 17 league matches in a row.

United will be motivated by the potential of stopping their old rivals in their tracks.

And Solskjaer will be relieved James seemingly came away from international duty unscathed as he has been one of few bright sparks for United this term since joining in the summer from Swansea City.