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Injured Healey pulls out of Splash!


Former rugby star Austin Healey has been forced to pull out of Splash

Former rugby star Austin Healey has been forced to pull out of Splash

Former rugby star Austin Healey has been forced to pull out of Splash

Former England rugby player Austin Healey has become the latest casualty of TV celebrity sports contests, having to pull out of Splash! due to injury.

He was set to appear in tonight's semi-final but was unable to after he was "immediately taken to hospital" when he injured himself in rehearsals.

The sportsman has made a "complete recovery" but is out of the competition.

Paralympic gold medallist Richard Whitehead came out on top tonight, securing a place in next week's final, and TOWIE star Dan Osborne will join him having beaten presenter Anna Williamson in the splash-off.

Healey posted a photograph on Twitter in which he appeared to be lying down with his head in a brace, and said: "Quick update ct scan has shown an issue with neck vertebrae waiting for consultant ... Thanks for kind messages & those who got me out." (sic)

Less than an hour later, he tweeted: "Good news neck injury old just a lower back issue which is fine #lucky and #grateful major all body stinger." (sic)

At the start of tonight's show, hosts Gabby Logan, Vernon Kay and Olympic bronze medallist Tom Daley explained Healey's absence from the line-up.

Daley said the sportsman injured himself in rehearsals when he was practising "one of the hardest dives we've ever seen on Splash!".

The star diver said Healey had just rehearsed his first dive "amazingly well", and said of his injury: "I think he landed a bit awkwardly on his neck."

Logan said Healey was "immediately taken to hospital", and Daley said that diving "really is a dangerous sport" and "sometimes accidents do just happen".

Fifteen minutes before the end of the show, Logan said they had received the news that Healey had made a "complete recovery", that there were no broken bones and no serious damage done - but confirmed that he would no longer be competing.

The incident comes not long after viewers of Channel 4's winter sports contest The Jump watched as a string of celebrities had to pull out due to injury.

Sir Steve Redgrave and comedian Marcus Brigstocke withdrew on the day of the final as they were unable to compete.

Sir Steve was close to tears in the scenes capturing the moment he took the decision to pull out after being left in agony during training, with his rivals also nursing a variety of bumps.

The Olympic gold medallist took a further tumble during a practice run - after previously breaking a bone in his hand - and decided he could not carry on in the series, which had been beset by accidents that caused competitors to pull out.

While Brigstocke had to be treated for an injury to his knee, which was strapped up in a splint, s ocialite Henry Conway broke a bone in his hand and Melinda Messenger had to withdraw as a result of concussion suffered on the bobsleigh track.

Whitehead and Osborne will join pint-sized street dancer Perri Kiely and Boyzone star Keith Duffy in the Splash! final next Saturday.