Bristol City defender Nathan Baker has retired from professional football after doctors determined continuing to play would pose a “significant risk” to his health.
Baker suffered a head injury during the Robins game at Sheffield United on November 28, 2021 – requiring 24 hours of hospitalization.
The 31-year-old made his decision after nine months of testing, treatment and recovery and on the advice of his medical team.
He said: “Football has been an important part of my life from a young age so it hasn’t been the easiest decision for me but I have to follow the advice of the medical team and consultants. .
BRICK. WALL. 💪—Bristol City FC (@BristolCity) April 23, 2020
“It’s sad to think that I won’t play football again, there are so many things that I will miss, like my teammates, the friendships made, in addition to a good tackle! But I have to put my health and my family first, it’s not worth the risk.
Baker joined Bristol City on loan from Aston Villa in 2015 and then made his move permanent on a £3.5million deal.
A club statement highlighted that Baker is “currently doing well, without any neurological or cognitive issues, but will likely be monitored with further neuro-psychological tests in the future”.
“After evaluating his progress over a period of nine months, Nathan has been advised by medical professionals that continuing to play at a professional level would pose a significant risk to his current and future health,” the statement added.
Baker, a former England Under-21 defender, has made 138 appearances and scored three goals for Bristol City.
Manager Nigel Pearson added: “It’s a sad day for any player when he has to walk away from the game, especially in Nathan’s case when it’s a lot sooner than he expected. .
“However, the health and safety of the players must come first and we fully support the advice given to Nathan to ensure his health is the primary concern.
“Nathan was a fabulous servant to our club and popular in the dressing room as well as in the stands with the supporters. We wish him all the best for the future as he begins life away from the pitch with his young family.