Worcester forward Fatialofa out of hospital after spinal injury


London (AFP)

Worcester forward Michael Fatialofa is set to return home after five months in hospital following a severe spinal injury suffered while playing for the English Premiership club.

It had been feared the New Zealander might never walk again after the injury during a match at reigning champions Saracens in January.

He spent almost three weeks in intensive care before remaining in hospital.

Fatialofa's wife, Tatiana, said he will be allowed home on Friday.

"My delightful husband is coming home," she posted on Twitter. "There are no words that suffice how grateful Michael and I are for every person who has championed us.

"He wouldn't be coming home in this miraculous condition without your prayers, love and the support shown in various ways which will carry us through the next phase."

Fatialofa was walking unaided within 11 weeks of his injury.

He signed a two-year deal when he joined Worcester from Wellington-based New Zealand Super Rugby side Hurricanes in 2018.

Fatialofa had been set to move to France at the end of this season but Worcester have continued to support him in his recovery and set up a fundraising appeal for the lock.

Fatialofa is expected to return to New Zealand.

Worcester head of medical Ryan Kehoe said: "Following a handover from the rehabilitation team at the Royal Buckinghamshire Hospital, we will look to continue to build on the amazing work they have done with Michael.

"His rehabilitation at this stage will focus on improving his general muscular strength, coordination and mobility."