The 27-year-old Scottish International is back in London after spending 10 weeks recovering at his family home near Sandgreen, at Gatehouse of Fleet.
The incident occurred early into the start of the second half. “I remember it pretty well” Joe said of his recollection of the incident.
“I was drifting across in defence and I saw a switch play which I had anticipated. I accelerated in to the tackle and at the last second the Munster player stepped and moved from my left shoulder straight on to my head. I don’t even know if I made the tackle if I’m honest (Joe said jokingly). I can’t remember that bit. I just remember some pretty intense pain on the top of my forehead and the back of my neck. It was excruciating, I was moving around quite a lot, at no point did I think I had broken my neck but I did thought something pretty bad had happened.
“It was quite confusing, I was in a lot of pain and I was panicked, but at the same time I didn’t think I had done anything too serious as I was moving my arms and legs. I knew I wasn’t concussed; it was just an odd pain and something new to me.”
Joe went on to mention how fortunate he was that the injury sustained wasn’t more serious.
“The first thing that came to mind was how fortunate I was particularly in the situation I was, in the high dependency unit in the hospital in Cork and seeing people in serious conditions, I realised how lucky I was. It could have been a lot worse.”
“The boroughs of Richmond and Dumfries and Galloway were brilliant in offering hospital beds which was really important for my comfort so I am very thankful to them both.”
Joe wore an external fixation device for 10 weeks. This support device was removed two weeks ago Joe at the Murrayfield hospital and replaced with a fibre glass neck brace.
Joe went on to thank his family, especially his mum and his girlfriend, Kylie, for their incredible support over the last few months.
“They have been extremely supportive over the last few months as have everyone at both London Irish and Scotland. James Peckitt (Physiotherapist at London Irish) and the Scotland medical team have been brilliant throughout so I am thankful to everyone.”
Joe will continue his rehab process at London Irish and there will be further updates of his progress in due course.
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