Thibaut Courtois
Courtois is free to play for Belgium after suffering a head injury Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is free to link up with the Belgium national team for their European Championship qualifying matches after being given the all clear after suffering a head injury in the win over Arsenal.

Courtois collided with Alexis Sanchez after just 10 minutes of the Blues' 2-0 win but after receiving lengthy treatment, he was not substituted until the 24<sup>th minute when blood was seen to be streaming from his ear.

The 22-year-old was taken to hospital where he was treated for the problem before being released in the evening on Sunday 5 October after tests showed there was no further damage. Courtois is free to play for Belgium for their Euro 2016 qualifiers against Andorra on 10 October and Bosnia and Herzegovina on 13 October.

A club statement read: "Chelsea Football Club can confirm Thibaut Courtois went to hospital during our Premier League game against Arsenal yesterday [Sunday] for precautionary tests on a head injury. Those tests came back all clear.

"Thibaut was treated for a minor cut to his ear and was released from hospital last night. He is expected to report for international duty later this week."

The former Atletico Madrid 'keeper later wrote on Twitter: "Thanks for all the messages! I'm already feeling better. Now I'm resting to be recovered and back on the pitch soon. Great victory yesterday."

Despite receiving treatment for the blow, Chelsea have been heavily criticised for their conduct surrounding the injury, which follows the introduction of new regulations regarding head injuries introduced by Fifa, the Football Association and the Premier League.

Players who are victims of head injuries must leave the field of play while club doctors are given the final say over whether the player is fit to continue. "Tunnel" doctors, meanwhile, have access to television replays and are on hand to lend further advice to medical officials.

However, Peter McCabe, chief executive of brain injury association Headway, said: "This incident calls into question whether these [new] rules are working effectively. For example, was the third 'tunnel doctor' consulted on the decision to allow Courtois to continue? If so, did he or she agree that there was no suspicion of concussion?

"From television footage alone, it is difficult to assess the severity of any injury and the decision of the medical team assessing the player has to be respected. However, it is hard to understand how a concussion was not suspected following the sickening clash.

"Bleeding from one or both ears is one of the symptoms to look out for that requires an immediate visit or return to hospital following a head injury.

"The fact that the bleeding only became apparent 15 minutes after the injury also demonstrates the evolving nature of concussion and highlights why a safety-first approach must be taken with all head injuries."

Despite his frantic protests towards referee Martin Atkinson following the collision between Sanchez and Courtois, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho downplayed the significance of the injury.

"It's nothing special - nothing to be too worried about," he said.

"I just get decisions. Does he stay or does he have to leave. I don't have the medical qualities to discuss. They told me no, he couldn't continue. I was just worried for the kid, not worried about the game or the performance."