These stories are becoming all too common.
First we had Sean O’Brien, then Tommy Bowe and now Cian Healy. In an interview with Peter O’Reilly of The Sunday Times, Healy revealed that he seriously considered retirement during the summer of 2015.
I had the insurance forms filled out and everything. I was pretty much ready to sign off.” Healy said.
Healy had suffered nerve damage during surgery on a disc in his neck, which left him unable to use his right hand.
At that point I’d gone beyond being scared about playing again. I couldn’t write my own name and address. It was grim enough. I couldn’t put the key in the car ignition, couldn’t put the key in the front door. I became left-handed at everything.
The thing about the nerve is that it’s hard to see the benefits of rehab because you were getting nothing. There was no signal to the muscles to do any work so for the best part of that summer, after surgery, my hand was useless.
It’s another fascinating, albeit scary, insight into the struggles of a professional rugby player. Their careers can be taken away from them in an instant, and the true extent of their injuries is mind-blowing.
Thankfully Healy’s retirement never came to fruition and he’s not back fit and playing regularly for Leinster once again, hoping to once again fight his way back into the Irish set-up.