Hughes relieved after comeback from concussion

Date published: January 16 2017

Adam Hughes feared he would be forced to retire from the game after suffering concussion in a pre-season friendly for Dragons in August last year.

Hughes was sidelined for five months and made his comeback over the weekend, coming on as a replacement in his side’s 34-10 win over Enisei-STM in the Challenge Cup.

“At the start, when I was really struggling, the thought does go through your mind and you have to battle against those thoughts if you want to come back” Hughes told BBC Wales Sport.

“But the last four months have been really good. I can’t thank the Dragons enough, they’ve been amazing with the medical team, they haven’t rushed me which is key with concussions.”

Hughes said he suffered from the physical and mental effects of the concussion for two months after it happened.

“It was a bad knock-out,” he said. “I struggled memory-wise, my memory and concentration were really poor. But what we’ve done for five months is build the threshold to exercise.

“At the start I was really struggling and anything (that increased my) heart-rate, my head was starting to go, but you do more and more each week.”

Hughes said World Rugby is on the right track by trying to reduce head injuries and changing the interpretation of high tackle laws, which came into effect on 3 January, 2017.

“I think they’re doing the right thing and they’re going the right way, but I’m not sure how much these new rules will help with concussion.

“It is going to be a big part of rugby going forward and I think the medical staff are treating it correctly now. You just can’t be rushed with concussion. The hardest thing is that it’s invisible. When you’ve got it and you try to get people to understand how it works, it’s really hard.”