By Eduan Roos
Former All Black and Otago loose forward Adam Thomson has regained mobility and is expected to make a full recovery from the illness that has kept him hospitalised for more than a week.
The 35-year-old was admitted to a Japanese hospital last Tuesday after experiencing "excruciating" pain that left him unable to walk and initially had doctors baffled.
Thomson's partner, reality TV star Jessie Gurunathan, rushed the 29-test All Black to the Tsukuba Memorial hospital in Tokyo, later describing the past week as "one hell of an ordeal" and "the biggest fright".
According to Thomson's representative Brooke Howard-Smith, the flanker has been diagnosed with lumbar discitis — an infection in the intervertebral disc space.
Howard-Smith told the Herald Thomson was still in hospital but is "comfortable", receiving antibiotics and pain relief medication and is not in any danger.
He experienced "serious lumbar pain and temporary leg/foot numbness" before being admitted to hospital but has since regained his mobility, Howard-Smith said.
On Tuesday, Thomson said from his hospital bed he was expecting a long road to recovery, while Gurunathan on Friday posted on Instagram they were hoping that he'd be able to walk again soon.
According to Howard-Smith "full recovery is expected" and the former Highlanders, Reds and Rebels stalwart could return to training within a month.
Thomson recently signed with the Japanese top league club NEC Green Rockets, after previously playing for Canon Eagles.
He also represented New Zealand at secondary schools, under-19, under-21 and Sevens.
"Adam is incredibly humbled and grateful for all the support he has received from around the world," Howard-Smith told the Herald.
"The response has been incredible. Of course, especially his partner Jessie and family who have been pillars of rock through this difficult time."