Thorne jnr on the road to recovery

By Anne Beston

Injured rugby player David Thorne has been playing minigolf to help him regain concentration after the stroke he suffered in May.

His father, former All Black Grahame Thorne, said it appeared David, who turns 21 next week, was improving with each golf game.

"We can see that he is coming along well, his speech is still a problem but it is improving every week."

Mr Thorne was convinced an upper-body tackle late in an under-21 rugby club match in Motueka caused his son to be partially paralysed and unable to speak.

An independent report into events during the game, by Nelson lawyer Garry Barkle, agreed the tackle was to blame but was not malicious or intended to cause injury.

A celebrity auction this month raised $122,000 for a trust to help David. Items had been donated after the event, including a cast of Sir Edmund Hillary's hands around a pick axe. That would be sold by tender which would be circulated soon.

Rehabilitation would take time. David could walk, but he still had a difficulty with speech and memory.

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