Taranaki captain Kane Barrett hopes to be back on the field in the next couple of weeks.
The 23-year-old has been sidelined with concussion since the second week of the Super Rugby season after he took an elbow to the jaw at training.
"It's a bit annoying but it's just one of those things in rugby when you get a bad head knock," he said yesterday. "I've been suffering headaches since and it's been five weeks."
Barrett was left "dizzy and delirious" from the blow and was later diagnosed with concussion.
Things, however, have improved rapidly in the past week.
"I'm probably not 100 per cent but I've felt a lot better. I'm probably back to 80 or 90 per cent. Before now, every day I was suffering from moderate headaches."
Concussion, and how teams and individuals deal with it, has been a hot topic in recent months as more and more concerns are raised about the long-term damage players can suffer.
Barrett was well aware of the debate but felt confident he was receiving the best treatment possible through the Blues' medical staff.
"I'm definitely on the rise and I hope to be back playing in two weeks.
"I'm not going to rush back into it though because with head injuries, you only get one brain. Our medical staff won't let me back on the field until I'm 100 per cent."
Although there was a degree of frustration around the situation, he was not letting it get to him.
"I'm over getting frustrated with injuries because I know what the body is like."
Barrett confirmed his reintroduction to rugby would be through the Coastal premier side.
His fitness would, however, be down, with his recent regime restricted to some work on the bike.
Barrett has had plenty of company on the sidelines at the Blues, who have had up to 12 players unavailable. One of those is Barrett's Taranaki team-mate, Jamison Gibson-Park, who suffered a stress fracture in a leg several weeks ago. It is unclear when he will return.
- Taranaki Daily News
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