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Navidi's thirsty reaction to pain

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'The pain wasn't going, so I went home and had a couple of whiskies'

Josh Navidi has lifted the lid on the freak injury that nearly cost him his place at the World Cup later this year in Japan. There were grave fears that the Grand Slam-winning Wales back row would not be fit in time for the finals following the dislocation of his elbow in Cardiff’s PRO14 derby win over Scarlets a fortnight ago.  

Footage of the injury looked gruesome, Navidi getting hurt in a collision with team-mate Tomos Williams at a ruck. However, those looks were deceiving as the injury will only require a 10- to 12-week lay-off, clearing the way for Navidi to be back up to speed in time for Wales’ pre-World Cup camp and their series of warm-up matches. 

“It’s going to be 10-12 weeks, which isn’t too bad,” said the relieved back row to walesonline.com at a media session in Cardiff on Friday. “When I spoke to Blaine (Scully) and he said he was out for six months after a shoulder dislocation, I was quite taken aback that I’d come off quite lucky.

“I’m glad I didn’t speak to him before the diagnosis because I would have been very worried then. When Blaine told me that, I was thinking it could have been a lot, lot worse and I’m just thankful it’s not too bad and I will be ready for the World Cup camp.

“I’m quite lucky to be fair. It’s only the forearm muscle has come away from the bone, so that got reattached and I am on the mend now.

“Tomos hit me from behind and it just went,” continued Navidi. “Nine times out of 10 that would happen and there would be no problem. But where my arm was, it was just an awkward place. When I heard that noise, I thought ‘something’s gone on here’ and I was rolling around on the floor like a little ant with my legs in the air. It was a lot more painful than when I dislocated my shoulder. That was already quite torn up.

“This came straight out from a solid elbow and it was one of the worst things I’ve felt on the pitch. I did look at it, but it just looked like it was ballooned, so I couldn’t really see properly. I just didn’t know what to do with myself. I couldn’t put my legs down straight and I had to keep the weight off my elbow.

Fair play to the medical staff, they got in quite quickly. As as soon as they came over, they got it back in within about 30 seconds and had me on the gas and air. With dislocations, if you don’t relax it’s not going to go in. That was in my mind, I want this to go in and not have this pain.

“They got it in, which was fantastic and there’s not too much damage, which is a good thing. It could have been a lot worse. That’s the thankful thing about it. I was down in the treatment room and I had some pain killer which was supposed to help the pain, but it didn’t do anything.

“It just felt as if I was getting drunk. The pain wasn’t going, so I went home and had a couple of whiskies. That made it better!”

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'The pain wasn't going, so I went home and had a couple of whiskies'