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MacDonald’s Rugby Future in Doubt

MacDonald’s Rugby Future in Doubt

All Black fullback Leon MacDonald has had his rugby future put in doubt after suffering concussion in the second half of last Saturday’s Tr-Nations clash with South Africa in Durban

The Durban incident was the third time that twenty-four year old MacDonald has received a head injury in the space of four months. His first head injury occurred in April when he clashed heads with Stormers captain Corne Krige at Jade Stadium, but he was able to continue playing. He was then knocked unconscious in an accidental collision with a Fijian player in the June 29 Test and had a month off before playing a club match for Burnside. Saturday’s game was his first test start since the Fijian game.

This latest injury has prompted retired Auckland neurosurgeon Philip Wrightson to advise the Crusaders star to coinsider quitting the game for at least a season – if not for good.

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“The real problem is if you suffer a second concussion,” Wrightson said. “I have always felt if you suffer a second concussion you should give up playing for the season. If, in the next season, you have another concussion, you should think very carefully about giving up the game.”

MacDonald said that while he would listen carefully to all medical advice, he would be taking advice from the All Blacks’ medical staff, who would consult specialists. He had total faith in long-serving All Black doctor John Mayhew.

MacDonald expected a decision would be made this week on his immediate future. It would be “a mutual decision” between himself, the medical staff and the All Black coaches. The All Black management have said MacDonald would be given all the time he needed to recover fully.

“I still have a lot of rugby left in me. MacDonald said. “There’s still a World Cup to try to aim for. The All Black squad for that is probably the biggest priority.”