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Exeter chiefs fan favourite forced to hang up his boots

Exeter Chiefs players have been sending messages of support to team-mate Carl Rimmer, who has been advised to retire from professional rugby on medical grounds.

Speaking of his situation, the 32-year-old said: “In January, I suffered a stroke after a nick in the artery following some contact in the game at Newcastle.

“It was a delayed onset situation as, two days after the game, I walked out onto the training pitch, ran 50 metres at my slowest possible pace and nearly knocked Stu Townsend over by falling over.



“It was all a bit weird. Nobody knew what had happened, I didn’t really know, I was fully conscious, and by the time I got to hospital and someone diagnosed it and told me what was wrong, the best part of me thought ‘it can’t be, it is impossible, I am 30 years old, there is no way that’s happened’, and it turns out it was related to trauma and not to anything else.

“I spent the best part of a week in hospital. During the first week, there wasn’t even a thought of what was going on in the future, it was more dealing with the symptoms at hand, and I was so fortunate to be where I was, surrounded by medical teams and doctors, and by the time a week has passed, I was up on my feet and walking round, and everybody was very, very happy.

“The club were brilliant with me and let me have some good time off to make sure everything healed as it should. Apart from the rugby side of things, I have been pretty much fine since February, so that has been brilliant.

“I was under the impression from medical guidance that there was a chance that I could return to playing, but at the same time the percentage was only 50-50, but unfortunately, three months later, when they rescanned everything, the injury itself had not healed properly, which just meant the risks of returning to play a contact sport were too great, and I was advised medically to retire, which wasn’t great news to hear at the time.”



“Needless to say, the Chiefs tribe have been quick to rally round the former Cornish Pirates favourite with plenty of messages of support and good will from fans and players alike.

“The club were brilliant with me and let me have some good time off to make sure everything healed as it should. Apart from the rugby side of things, I have been pretty much fine since February, so that has been brilliant.

“I was under the impression from medical guidance that there was a chance that I could return to playing, but at the same time the percentage was only 50-50, but unfortunately, three months later, when they rescanned everything, the injury itself had not healed properly, which just meant the risks of returning to play a contact sport were too great, and I was advised medically to retire, which wasn’t great news to hear at the time.”

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