Sale Sharks boss Steve Diamond has revealed for the first time the full extent of the serious illness which forced the Sharks chief to be hospitalised for a fortnight.
The workaholic executive director of sport was back at Sale's Carrington training base for the first time in almost three weeks on Wednesday where his gaunt appearance bore witness to the ordeal the 42-year-old has just been through.
At a conservative estimate the legendary ex-Sale hooker has lost more than a stone and half in weight and his right leg is still cased in protective plaster after what was initially a routine medical procedure spiralled into a scenario where Diamond found his body having to fight off the twin threats of blood poisoning and pneumonia.
True to form, armed with his mobile phone and laptop, Diamond tried to work where possible during his enforced stay in hospital but the fact he was confined to his bed for 13 days while medics sought to fight the infection and pneumonia is testament to how serious his condition was for a while.
Diamond revealed how a minor procedure dramatically turned into something much more serious after his right ankle became infected.
"I had a minor ankle operation before Christmas which then got infected and things developed from there," revealed the Sale boss.
"I had a couple of days off after the London Irish game earlier this month which is when the ankle flared up and started causing me a lot of pain.
"After seeking medical advice I was admitted to hospital straight away as it then became quite serious. I had a bit of septicaemia and pneumonia to go with it so it has taken it out of me.
"It has been a bit of a shock as I’ve never really been ill in my life before. With blood poisoning they have to get it under control and it took them quite a while to do that but now it’s under control.
"All told, I was in hospital for two weeks and though I’ve not weighed myself, I reckon I've lost at least a stone-and-a-half.
"I left hospital on Tuesday and I still feel pretty tired so the plan is I'll be doing a couple of hours a day this week.
"There's a lot going on at the club right now but we'll just see how it goes. If I'm not 100 percent then I won't be in work.
"But I'm back on the bend now and we want to get two wins over the next fortnight in our LV= Cup games to build towards our Premiership home match with Worcester early next month."
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