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Best must wait to find out if he can play rugby again

By Claire McNeilly

Ulster rugby star Simon Best faces an anxious wait to discover if he can ever play again.

But the 29-year-old Co Armagh man, who met a cardiac specialist in Dublin yesterday, said he was optimistic about his future in the game.

The former Ulster captain was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat after complaining of a loss of feeling down his right side, a headache and impaired speech while on duty with Ireland at the World Cup in France last week.

After prescribing different drugs, doctors yesterday said they hoped to get to the root of his heart scare - over the next three to six weeks.

"I'm feeling pretty good," said Best after the appointment.

"I've really felt fairly stable from probably Saturday when the heart rate had returned.

"It's something that's going to take a bit of time to get to the bottom of ... the next three weeks will hopefully tell a bit of a story. It's a matter of being patient."

Best admitted that his future in rugby remains uncertain, but said he had faith in the medical professionals looking after him.

"I will be treating everything that I do with the hope of being back on the pitch fairly soon," he told the BBC.

"I'm absolutely confident that the doctors dealing with me will give me the best advice and the best treatment possible."

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph last night, the prop's mother, Pat, said it was a relief to have her son home.

"Simon is in good form," she said. "I wouldn't say we're not worried about him, but we're relieved that he's home now - and that it's not as bad as it was. Everyone is glad he is home."

Mrs Best travelled to Bordeaux last week, along with her husband, John, and daughter-in-law, Katie, to be at her son's side.

Best arrived in Dublin from France on a separate plane from the rest of his teammates in the Ireland squad on Monday.

Prior to that, he spent five days at the Haut Leveque hospital in Bordeaux, where he said he was well looked after.

"The interest in my wellbeing has been amazing," he said.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph