Leeds Rhinos ace Ben Jones-Bishop has publicly thanked the medical staff who pin-pointed his potentially life-threatening illness.
The two-time Grand Final winner and England Knights star, inset below, is facing up to six months on the sidelines due to a pulmonary embolism – a blood clot affecting his lungs.
Winger Jones-Bishop – Rhinos’ second-top try scorer last year with 23 – has not commented since an initial club statement about his condition, but agreed to speak out to pay tribute to Rhinos’ backroom team.
A pulmonary embolism can lead to serious – and sometimes fatal – consequences if not diagnosed early enough, but Jones-Bishop said swift action prevented his conditioning getting worse.
“It got picked up by the staff, Davo [conditioner Jason Davidson] and the doc and it went on from there,” Jones-Bishop revealed.
“I went for a scan and it showed up from that. They are switched on and they know their stuff.
“Davo obviously thought something wasn’t right and it was better to check than be sorry.
“He deserves credit and I want to say thanks to him for that.”
Jones-Bishop is expected to make a full recovery and should be able to continue his playing career unaffected after completing a course of blood-thinning medication.
“Obviously it was a bit of a shock, but I don’t really know any more than what was said last week,” Jones-Bishop added.
“It is just a waiting game. I’ll wait until my next scan and then see if the medication is working. I feel fine, they were quite shocked at the time that I was all right – they expected me to be quite ill.
“I don’t know how it happened. They can’t do anything until it’s cleared, then they can do some tests and stuff like that.”
At just 24, Jones-Bishop has suffered a series of injury setbacks, including a fractured skull playing for Harlequins during a loan spell in 2010 and a dislocated shoulder the following year.
“I’m all right,” he said of his mental state following the shock diagnosis. “It is disappointing, but in my limited career so far I have had a fair few setbacks and this is just another one.
“Generally I am fit and healthy, so that’s the bonus. I’m just looking forward to coming back and getting back among it.
“I can train, it’s just obviously no contact. Hopefully I won’t be far off and I’m treating it like an extended pre-season.”
Once he’s back in the team, Jones-Bishop will be hoping his bad luck with injuries is over.
“I’m still relatively young,” he said. “Hopefully, if I get this out of the way and there are no more setbacks, I have got a long and hopefully successful career in front of me.”