Illness floors former All Black in Japan

Adam Thomson pictured with partner Jessie Gurunathan in the Tsukuba Memorial Hospital in Tokyo. Photo: Instagram
Adam Thomson pictured with partner Jessie Gurunathan in the Tsukuba Memorial Hospital in Tokyo. Photo: Instagram
Former All Blacks, Highlanders and Otago loose forward Adam Thomson has regained mobility and is expected to make a full recovery from the illness that has kept him hospitalised for more than a week.

The 35-year-old, who goes by the nickname BFG, was admitted to a Japanese hospital last Tuesday after experiencing ''excruciating'' pain that left him unable to walk and initially had doctors baffled.

Thomson's partner, reality TV star Jessie Gurunathan, rushed the 29-test All Black to the Tsukuba Memorial Hospital in Tokyo, later describing the past week as ''one hell of an ordeal'' and ''the biggest fright''.

In a post on Instagram, Ms Gurunathan said:

''Christmas this year so far has been mostly spent in hospital with the BFG giving me the biggest fright in the six years we've been doing life together.''

''A few nights ago I had to rush him to A&E in the middle of the night & it's been one hell of an ordeal.''

According to Thomson's representative, Brooke Howard-Smith, the flanker has been diagnosed with lumbar discitis - an infection in the intervertebral disc space.

Mr Howard-Smith said Thomson was still in hospital but was ''comfortable'', receiving antibiotics and pain relief medication and was not in any danger.

He experienced ''serious lumbar pain and temporary leg/foot numbness'' before being admitted to hospital but had since regained his mobility, Howard-Smith said.

On Tuesday, Thomson said from his hospital bed he was expecting a long road to recovery.

''... it's been a tough week full of unexpected challenges.

''It's going to be a long road to get back on my feet but I'm up for it,'' he said.

According to Mr Howard-Smith, a ''full recovery is expected'' and the former Highlanders, Reds and Rebels Super Rugby stalwart would hopefully return to training within a month.

Thomson recently signed with the Japanese top league club NEC Green Rockets, after previously playing for Canon Eagles.

He also represented New Zealand at secondary schools, under-19, under-21 and sevens.

''Adam is incredibly humbled and grateful for all the support he has received from around the world,'' Mr Howard-Smith said.

''The response has been incredible.

''Of course, especially his partner Jessie and family who have been pillars of rock through this difficult time.''

-By Eduan Roos

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