England rugby star Tom Wood claims he has never been “fitter or friskier” despite waking with a clot on his lung last month.
The Northampton star told of the “strange/uncomfortable couple of days” he spent tackling a pulmonary embolism, describing it as “my little health blip”.
But despite declaring himself “completely symptom free after passing a full MOT”, Saints say they are unlikely to risk him until next season.
Team boss Chris Boyd said: “Woody woke up one night with some fairly severe pain, which was diagnosed as a pulmonary embolism that came out of one of his legs – much the same as a DVT.
“Those clots, when they dislodge and end up getting into major organs, can be a fairly significant problem.
“He can’t take contact as you can’t afford a bleed when you’re on (blood) thinning medication, so he is probably on light duties and non selection until the end of the season.
“But he’s come back and immediately put pressure on me for a year’s extension. He reckons he’s never been fitter or friskier.”
Fraser Dingwall revealed the shock felt by the Saints squad on learning Wood’s news.
“He is pretty indestructible,” said the centre. “So it was quite a shock, but seeing him back has eased everyone’s nerves and settled us all down a bit.”
New Gloucester boss George Skivington insists that putting together a management team made up of Wasps’ old boys is not about “trying to bring back the magic of Wasps”.
Coaches Skivington, Alex King, Dom Waldouck and Trevor Woodman won Premierships and European Cups together playing alongside Danny Cipriani in the Noughties.
Cipriani is now fly-half playmaker at Kingsholm and Skivington said: “That link from the past, the trust, is what is absolutely paramount.
“It’s about knowing that whether things are going well or badly the guys in that office will stick together.”