Joe Ansbro hopes for London Irish return after neck break

London Irish centre Joe Ansbro says he has not given up on playing again despite breaking his neck in August.

Ansbro, 27, suffered a triple fracture of the C1 vertebrae at the top of his spine during a friendly with Munster.

No surgery was required but the Scot is still months away from knowing whether he will be able to play again.

"I need to get back out there and run around with a ball and only then can I make a proper decision," Ansbro told BBC Radio Berkshire.

He admits, however, that the decision will not really be his but that of the doctors and specialists who have been treating him over the past few months.

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That extra weight and having four screws inserted into your skull was hard. I still really couldn't move and do basic things and two or three days in hospital like that I started to get quite anxious

Joe Ansbro

"There is still no confirmation on that (whether he can play again)," he said.

"I've got a scan to come in a couple of months and I've got a few more stages of rehab to go."

Scotland international Ansbro says despite the horrific injury, suffered when he took a tackle with his head rather than shoulder, he still feels lucky to have come out of it with no obvious long-term effects - other than the odd scar.

He also admits his wish to play again met some resistance from his family - all bar his sister Jenna.

"I feel very lucky," he told BBC South Today.

"It's not the first time I've tackled someone with my head either. Initially you are frustrated and confused but the more you think about it the more you realise you've dodged a bullet.

"The first couple of weeks, the majority of my family said do not play rugby again.

"But then my older sister did a flip chart of my road to recovery and she thought it was despicable, the prospect of me not playing again.

"But really what matters is what I feel about it and what the doctors feel about it."

Ansbro, who has scored three tries in his 11 Scotland matches, says he suffered some dark moments during the days after the injury and that the decision to place a halo brace around his head made things very difficult.

"The scan results came in and that's when I knew what it was I had done," he said.

"It was a big shock for my family but at the same time I was very lucky with the outcome. I didn't lose any sensation to my arms or neck, so I was very fortunate.

"I couldn't move very well, so we decided to go for the halo brace. I thought that would help but initially it was a bit of a nightmare.

"That extra weight and having four screws inserted into your skull was hard. I still really couldn't move and do basic things and two or three days in hospital like that I started to get quite anxious.

"I don't want to go into too much detail but one evening I did get anxious and that quickly resolved."