Pat is not packing it in as yet
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