Latham tells of fear over neck injury
Australian fullback Chris Latham says he was gripped by fear when he lost feeling in his limbs after injuring his neck while playing for English rugby side Worcester last month.
The former Wallabies stalwart recovered in time for the Warriors’ 34-17 Premiership defeat to Bath on Saturday, but he suffered a fresh injury, to a toe, that has him in doubt for next weekend’s clash with Leicester.
Speaking for the first time about the earlier spinal problem, which occurred during a tackle against Sale on January 31, Latham said it was half an hour after the collision before he knew he would be alright.
“I was scared, I had never had that feeling before,” Latham told midlands newspaper the Sunday Mercury.
“In the 11 or 12 years I have been playing professional rugby, it was only my third head knock and the second really serious one but I had never had a sensation like that before.
“After a couple of minutes, I felt sufficiently conscious to know that I could not properly feel my arms and legs, other than a slight tingle.”
Latham said he was reassured by Warriors director of sports medicine Brian Downey.
“Your initial thoughts are of the worst,” Latham said.
“It was a freak accident. I was driving into a tackle and drove my head into an opponent’s hip. They told me it sent a shock down my spine which causes a loss of feeling.”
The 33-year-old was still feeling groggy several days afterwards, but he recovered in time to feature against Bath, when the Warriors took a 14-10 half-time lead after scores from Latham and Loki Crichton.
But Bath hit back with three second-half tries and Latham limped off in the latter stages.
Worcester director of rugby Mike Ruddock told the club’s website: “Chris had a bad toe, a joint had displaced on him a little bit so he was limping a little bit so we took him off towards the end.
“Hopefully it is not going to be too bad but it could make him a little bit doubtful for next weekend. But I don’t think it is the sort of injury that will keep him out.”© AFP 2013
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- Chris Latham