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Rugby player Michael Fatialofa in 'miracle' recovery from serious spinal injury

Worcester Warriors lock had been left paralysed from the neck down but video emerges of him walking unaided 11 weeks after match in January

Michael Fatialofa, right, had been left paralysed from the neck down following a Premiership rugby match in January.Getty
Michael Fatialofa, right, had been left paralysed from the neck down following a Premiership rugby match in January.Getty

Injured rugby player Michael Fatialofa provided a bit of good news amid the coronavirus gloom when a video emerged on Saturday showing the Worcester Warriors lock walking unaided less than 11 weeks after he suffered a serious neck injury.

The 27-year-old New Zealander underwent spinal surgery in late January after being left paralysed from the neck down following his side's English Premiership rugby union match with Saracens early that month.

The operation took place after he was diagnosed with a spinal contusion, a serious condition which causes compression on the spine.

"You're witnessing a miracle that even medical professionals can't explain," wrote Fatialofa's wife Tatiana with a video of him walking on Instagram. "They are so shook by his progress given his critical level of injury.

"He was literally paralysed from the neck down just 10 weeks ago and currently spinal cord injuries do not have a clinical cure."

However, the coronavirus outbreak will place restrictions on her being able to visit him as the British government has recommended social distancing and ordered pubs, restaurants and other places where the public congregate to close.

"We've been advised by the hospital that visiting probably will be reduced to only one hour soon and while I understand completely it's still so hard on the heart," she said.

Worcester were going to use their home match against Harlequins on April 11 as a fundraiser for Fatialofa but that game will no longer go ahead as the Premiership is suspended until April 14 at least.

Updated: March 21, 2020 08:30 PM

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