Rugby

Ex-Wallaby 'remains critical'

2012-04-20 09:10
Michael Lynagh (File)
Brisbane - Australian rugby legend Michael Lynagh was in a critical condition with swelling on the brain on Friday following a severe stroke doctors described as rare for someone his age.

Lynagh, a former Wallabies captain and Rugby World Cup winner regarded as one of the sport's all-time greats, was rushed to hospital on Monday night with headaches and blurred vision.

The 48-year-old suffered a "cerebellar and occipital lobe stroke" due to a blocked vertebral artery, said Rob Henderson, his neurologist at Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital.

"This significant stroke is a rare event for someone of Michael's age," Henderson said in a statement, describing Lynagh's condition as critical yet stable.

"The next few days are critical because of swelling in the region of the brainstem, but current signs are positive," he added.

The stroke had affected Lynagh's vision, co-ordination and balance, Henderson said.

Lynagh's father Ian said the family was confident he was "in the very best of hands" and thanked the public for their "overwhelming" well wishes and support.

Lynagh, who is based in Britain and was in Australia on a visit when he fell ill, won 72 caps for Australia in the 1980s and 1990s as well as having a distinguished state career for Queensland.

He was part of Australia's Grand Slam winning team in 1984 and a key player in the Wallabies' 1991 World Cup win.

Lynagh captained Australia from 1993 to 1995 and held the world points scoring record when he retired with 911. He also held the world record for most conversions (140).

He went on to play for Saracens in England and has had a successful career as a marketing director since his retirement from rugby.

Friends said he had stayed fit and expressed shock at his stroke, which they described as a "bolt out of the blue."

Read more on:    michael lynagh  |  rugby
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