HOANI Macdonald, the Southland rugby player who had a heart attack on the pitch at the weekend, has had surgery as he continues his recovery.
Team manager Glenn Morrison said tests carried out so far had been encouraging and no long-term damage had been discovered.
Macdonald went under the knife and had a cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) implanted in his chest yesterday.
“He has made real improvements in the last few days and is looking forward to being able to move onto the next stage of his recovery with his family,” Morrison told The Southland Times.
Stags captain Jamie Mackintosh said the whole team had been badly affected by what had happened.
”The lads were really worried there for a while, when its one of your mates, especially someone who has been around the team for as long as Hoon. it’s hard to comprehend something like this happening. We were all a bit in shock really.”
The team cancelled their annual end of season trip, choosing to stay in Invercargill while waiting for news from the hospital.
”We are all behind him in his recovery 100 per cent, he is a special guy to Southland rugby and, while it was touch and go there for a while, he is a tough bugger and it’s showing through in how he is bouncing back,” Mackintosh said.
The team had cancelled their traditional end of season bus trip and remained in Invercargill to wait for news from Auckland.