Pat is not pack­ing it in as yet

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

THE good news for South African rugby is that Sharks and Spring­bok fly­half Pa­trick Lam­bie has no in­ten­tion of re­tir­ing from the game after hav­ing un­der­gone ex­ten­sive con­sul­ta­tions with the lead­ing ex­perts on con­cus­sion, both lo­cally and abroad.

The 26-year-old will be cleared to play again within three to six months. He has not played since be­ing con­cussed play­ing for the Sharks against the Kings in Port El­iz­a­beth on May 13 and has a his­tory of con­cus­sion.

Sharks team doc­tor, Alan Kourie yes­ter­day said that six weeks of ex­haus­tive tests had fi­nally pro­duced a prog­no­sis.

“Pat has been re­ferred to two in­de­pen­dent spe­cial­ists (con­cus­sion and neu­rol­o­gist) and we have also sought the opin­ion of a UK-based spe­cial­ist, who has dealt with over 1500 cases of con­cus­sion. With clear re­sults of both an MRI and an EEG (Elec­troen­cephalo­gram),” Dr Kourie said.

“All three doc­tors, in­clud­ing my­self, are of the opin­ion that a pe­riod of 3-6 months with­out con­tact is nec­es­sary to give Pat a chance to fully re­cover from his symp­toms, after which we have no ob­jec­tion to him play­ing again,” Kourie added.

Ex­plain­ing Pat’s symp­toms, Dr Kourie said: “He has ex­pe­ri­enced an in­ter­mit­tent low-grade headache, and very sen­si­tive eyes. He was wak­ing up feel­ing ‘hun­gover’, but that has now passed. After a three­week course of med­i­ca­tion and a few ses­sions with a phys­io­ther­a­pist, who fo­cuses on the treat­ment of post-con­cus­sion syn­drome, as well as reg­u­lar phys­io­ther­apy ses­sions with our Sharks med­i­cal team, his headaches are al­most com­pletely re­solved and his eyes are no longer as sen­si­tive to light.”

“We be­gan a spe­cific ex­er­cise pro­to­col with him a few weeks ago, which he has tol­er­ated ex­cep­tion­ally well and he is cur­rently in a very pos­i­tive frame of mind.”

The man him­self said that he will be play­ing rugby and had “no plans to re­tire”.

“I have been exercising for 30-40 min­utes a day for the last month and I started to run again last week. I also have a thor­ough eye and neck re­hab sched­ule, which I am fol­low­ing. None of the ex­er­cise has made my symp­toms worse and I feel my best whilst ac­tive.

“My fo­cus for now is purely on mak­ing a full re­cov­ery and get­ting fit and strong again. Once the three-month rest pe­riod has been com­pleted, I will be re­assessed to de­ter­mine where we are in terms of the rugby cal­en­dar for the rest of the 2017 sea­son.

“I would like to thank both the Sharks and SA Rugby for their pa­tience, con­cern and con­stant sup­port.,” Lam­bie said. “The fact that both par­ties have not put any pres­sure on me to get back on the field, un­til I fully re­cover, makes the world of dif­fer­ence with my re­cov­ery.” - Mike Green­away

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