Dan Robson: ‘The radiologist was worried – I had clots on my lungs’

first_imgReuse this content Mako Vunipola faces race against time to be fit for World Cup “Without having something to look at every day and see your improvement it’s quite hard to pinpoint how it’s going. It’s always going to be something I have to be aware of. Flying long distances, I will still have to take some tablets to be extra careful but I feel great, I’ve been as fit as I’ve ever been because I’ve just been running and in the gym.”Robson would be forgiven for wondering if the world has been conspiring against him. He began the campaign in fine fettle but an ankle injury denied him what looked certain to be an overdue first cap in the autumn. He battled back and into the Six Nations squad but was left on the bench for England’s opening win in Ireland. He finally made his Test debut against France but was again an unused replacement in the defeat by Wales before his try-scoring cameo against Italy. In his absence against Scotland, Ben Spencer was selected and Robson also has Danny Care and Richard Wigglesworth as competition to serve as Ben Youngs’ deputy in Japan.“It has been an interesting season – the highs have been massively high and the lows have been very low,” he says. “But I’m going to be fit and available for selection. That’s been my goal since I found out the news. Selection is out of my hands but I felt like I added something in the time that I was in there. [Eddie Jones] was just firmly saying just keep doing what you’re doing, you’re here for a reason, you’re good enough, you’ll get your chances, we don’t need to rush it. All I can do is get as fit as possible and be in the right frame of mind. It’s a long time until the start of the World Cup. I’ve just got to be ready.” Rory Hutchinson justifies Chris Boyd’s faith as he eyes World Cup Share on Messenger … we have a small favour to ask. 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He sees the specialist every few weeks and is awaiting the green light to return to full training. “It’s just about being a bit more streetwise with everything,” he says. “Just with the contact stuff, with any head knocks, any cuts, it can be pretty bad. It’s about being a little bit more careful, keeping my inner child in. Share on Facebook features England rugby union team Rugby union Wasps The Breakdown: sign up and get our weekly rugby union email. Share on Pinterest Dan Robson was just about to put his boots on when it struck him something was wrong. He had been taken to one side by the England doctor, Phil Riley, who uttered the dreaded words “we need to talk”.It was the Tuesday before England’s Six Nations finale against Scotland in March and Robson had earlier that day had a scan for what he thought was a niggling calf problem. Deep vein thrombosis was the last thing on his mind as he prepared to run out for training.There followed a harrowing week for the Wasps and England scrum-half, who has endured the most trying of seasons. Further scans the next day revealed blood clots not only in his calf but above his pelvis and on his lungs. On the Thursday he saw a specialist who was amazed Robson was walking given the number of clots that had developed and later that day he underwent surgery at St Thomas’ hospital in London. It was also his 27th birthday. Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on WhatsApp Topics “The radiologist was worried because I had a few clots on my lungs,” says Robson. “The C-word got mentioned and you’re taken aback. I didn’t even think that was an option. He was going through all these options and he asked me, ‘Are you all right, you’re not putting on a brave face are you?’ I was like, ‘No, [my calf is] a bit sore, a bit swollen.’“He said, ‘OK, because I’ve seen the amount of clotting you have and you shouldn’t really be walking.’ That’s pretty scary. If we didn’t find it when we did it could have got a lot worse.”Robson is only too aware of the potential consequences had his blood clots not been found when they were. He had been feeling tightness in the calf for a couple of weeks but thought nothing of it and went on to win his second cap, scoring his first try against Italy.“It felt better when I was training, as I was moving more it felt easier,” he adds. “But the swelling in my calf had got a bit bigger and that was when I thought, ‘This isn’t right’. I was always pretty open about it but you get bumps and bruises throughout the season and as long as you’re fit for that Saturday you get on with it. We’re very grateful, not just me but my whole family, for all the staff that helped that week to find it as quickly as we could.”Only someone who has been in that situation can fully understand Robson’s mental state as the frustration of missing out on a third cap against Scotland was soon replaced by the disappointment of his season being over, the knowledge his World Cup hopes were in jeopardy and serious concerns over his long-term well-being. “When the doc told me it was DVT the first thing was a minimum of three months on blood thinners,” he says. “That’s pretty tough to take, knowing that is the season done. Then I saw the radiologist and he looked at the scans and saw the amount of clotting and he was saying six months minimum. Already you are getting mixed messages and it is an emotional time. You are trying to prepare for a Test match and then you’re just thinking about your health.”last_img

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