Hurricanes lock James Broadhurst will remain a member of the Super Rugby champion’s squad for 2017, but will continue his concussion rehabilitation on his own terms.
Broadhurst, who has been out of the game since suffering dual head knocks during a Mitre 10 Cup match while playing for Taranaki in August 2015, has not placed a deadline for a return to training.
The 28-year-old said he understood the public and media interest in his injury, but asked for privacy as he continued his recovery.
“It has been difficult being unable to play the game I love for the past 15 months, but dealing with concussion is not something you can rush and in the end my long term health is the primary focus,” Broadhurst told the Hurricanes’ official website.
“I will be continuing a graduated return to exercise away from the team environment because, although I have made progress over the past year I do still experience headaches when my heart rate is elevated. On the advice of my medical advisers I won’t consider a return to full training until I’m completely symptom free for the required period of time.”
Broadhurst said he would continue to be guided by the concussion management protocols set out by New Zealand Rugby and the Hurricanes and was grateful to both organisations for the support he had received to this point.
Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd said Broadhurst had the full support of the 2017 coaching, management and playing group.
“We all understand what James is going through and will continue to support him through the process of his rehabilitation and recovery,” he said.
“Concussion is a serious issue and the important thing is our players know they have the full support of the club. We believe New Zealand Rugby has robust return to play protocols in place to deal with concussion and we will continue to be guided by those processes.”