Earls makes miraculous recovery

Keith Earls was transformed from near car crash victim to try scoring hero for the British & Irish Lions in the space of a week. [more]

Earls makes miraculous recovery

Keith Earls was transformed from near car crash victim to try scoring hero for the British & Irish Lions in the space of a week.

Highly experienced Lions doctor, James Robson, reckoned the 21-year-old Munster centre suffered the kind of injuries associated with being in a car crash when the seat belt pulls across your chest. 

That happened in the opening game against the Royal XV when one of the home props fell on the Irish centre in the first-half. The collision injured his shoulder in two places and left him with deep bruising in that area and his chest. 

It was the sort of injury which Dr Robson would have sent a player home from many of the previous tours he has been on, yet there he was on Saturday scoring a vital try in the 26-24 win over the Free State Cheetahs. 

“In the past, Keith would almost certainly have been off the tour. I really thought that he and Riki Flutey were going to be the first players out of Africa,” said Dr Robson. 

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“Keith did phenomenally well to return to play on Saturday and score that try. He had the kind of collision injury you see in a car accident when a seat belt snaps across your chest. 

“He damaged his shoulder joint and had very deep bruising across his chest. It is testament to his character, and the hard work of the physio Phil Pask, that he is still on the tour. 

“Phil inflicted a huge amount of pain on the young man with some very deep muscle massage therapy. So, seeing him score the try was fantastic. 

“The professionalism shown by the whole squad in their injury management is the best I have ever seen. Keith was having treatment about six times per day from first thing in the morning to last thing at night. 

“It was very painful, deep massage on a very severe bruise. You could say that Phil Pask has helped to save Keith’s tour by the work he has done with him.”

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