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Michael Fatialofa takes another step towards recovery from horrific injury

By Josh Raisey
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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The continued recovery of Worcester Warriors’ Michael Fatialofa from a serious spinal injury has taken another astonishing turn, as he has begun weight training just days after walking out of hospital.


The 27-year-old New Zealander had been in hospital since January 4 after he suffered a C4 vertebrae fracture and a severe contusion of the spinal cord when appearing as a replacement during a Gallagher Premiership match against Saracens at Allianz Park.

He spent almost three weeks in intensive care in London before being transferred to the rehab unit at the Royal Buckinghamshire hospital in Aylesbury. Within eleven weeks, the lock was walking unaided having been paralysed from the neck down, and has continued to chronicle his recovery.

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Jeff Wilson and the team at Sky Sports NZ preview Round 1 of Super Rugby Aotearoa.
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Jeff Wilson and the team at Sky Sports NZ preview Round 1 of Super Rugby Aotearoa.

He returned home last week, walking out of the specialist spinal injuries unit, and is set to continue his rehabilitation with Worcester, but has even started lifting weights again. His wife Tatiana recently shared a video on social media of the lock floor pressing with the help of Warriors teammate Joe Taufete’e.

Upon Fatitalofa’s return to Sixways, the Warriors’ Head of Medical Ryan Kehoe said:

“His rehabilitation at this stage will focus on improving his general muscular strength, co-ordination and mobility.”


This is yet more progress in the Kiwi’s recovery, which has been one of the most inspiring stories in the game recently.

Fatialofa originally signed for Worcester in 2018 having played for the Hurricanes in Super Rugby and Auckland in the Mitre 10 Cup, and was making his ninth appearance of the season for the West Midlands outfit when he suffered the injury. While he was set to move on to a French club when his Warriors contract expired at the end of June, he will now stay local to the Warriors’ facilities to continue his rehabilitation.

A fundraising campaign was launched by the Rugby Players Association’ charity Restart with the support of Warriors in early February.


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