Injuries are par for the course when it comes to rugby, as the highly physical nature of the game inevitably takes its toll on even the fittest and strongest players. Sometimes, however, injuries come along that are scarier than others.
Just such an injury visited Andrew Kellaway in April. The young Waratahs back awoke one night, struggling for breath as a result of a compromised airway.
Having received a knock days earlier while playing for club side Randwick, the 21-year-old had been nursing a sore throat and attributed his breathing trouble to that.
Reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, Kellaway promptly hopped in his car and sought medical assistance.
“I rushed in for a scan and they rushed me to the hospital so they opened the airway back up.
“I live with [Waratahs halfback] Jake Gordon and he saw me in the morning and was pretty upset I didn’t come and wake him up for help. It was scary.”
Scans revealed the promising back had suffered a fracture to his hyoid bone and the resulting swelling thus compromised his airway.
“I drove there, that was probably a little bit reckless. I didn’t know the extent of it. I didn’t even know there was a bone there. It was such a bizarre thing and it swelled up over my vocal chords so I didn’t really think it was serious until I got to the hospital and they stuck the camera up my nose and down the back of my throat. It looked pretty bad in there.”
Such an injury is unheard of in rugby so is was a natural enough reaction by Kellaway to regard the initial post-match discomfort as just another ‘perk’ of his profession.
The injury itself kept him out of action for three rounds of the Super Rugby calendar but he is now set for his return to action against the Melbourne Rebels next weekend.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena