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Smith has no plans for retiring after concussion

Hurricanes captain Conrad Smith won't be retiring just yet

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Article Published: Tuesday 14 May 2013






Hurricanes captain Conrad Smith will miss this weekend's Super Rugby match against the Chiefs in Wellington after he was knocked out two weeks ago playing against the Bulls.

Smith was knocked out on May the 5th in the Hurricanes match against the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld and missed last week's match against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.

The All Black mifielder has revealed that even though this is not the first time he has been concussed playing rugby he has no plans to retire.

Smith plans to rest again this weekend and then next weekend the Hurricanes have a bye so he is targeting the Brumbies on May the 31st as his possible return from concussion.

Smith says that he had suffered not post-concussion symptoms other than having "a really sore neck."

"I'm feeling fine," the 31-year-old Hurricanes captain told a media scrum at Wellington's Rugby League Park.

"We decided pretty much in the days after that I wouldn't play the following two weeks and that would give me, with the bye, effectively four weeks before the next game (against the Brumbies) and just see how I'm tracking."

Smith admitted that he has a history of head knocks but points out that there has never been more than one a year. His most recent incident was the most eye catching one due to the length of time he was out.

"I haven't been knocked out cold, for 40 seconds or whatever it was. So that was a bit different."

The centre says that he has not considered retiring due to concussion because of how quickly he recovers afterwards.

"Probably within half an hour, I actually could remember everything about the day, right up until the tackle."

"Other people experience mass memory loss, guys get headaches, guys can't concentrate, can't sleep - I had none of that. "

"I'm obviously not going to take huge risks and I don't want it to happen regularly but that's all you can go on really."

Smith says he feels well enough that he could play now but will be taking a conservative approach with his recovery and will most likely ease back into contact training during next week's bye.

The Hurricanes stalwart said that the scariest thing about his latest knockout was watching replays of the incident on TV.

"That was the frightening thing, seeing it, because it didn't feel that bad... The memory loss, I've had knocks and have heard about knocks, and that sort of scares you, because you've had this big space where you don't remember anything."

"But in terms of that I didn't feel bad at all," he told Fairfax NZ News.

While Smith was almost immediately ruled out of last week's match against the Cheetahs he opted to stay with the team in a non-playing capacity to support the team but had to reassure family and friends he was OK.

"I think just the fact that it looked pretty bad and I was aware of that having seen it. The following day it didn't look good but I could only assure them that I was fine."

Smith said he had not gone through the concussion protocol tests that follow a knock out such as his.

"You do that before you're ready to play so it's quite a stringent process you go through. I'll do that later on, because I'm not playing I haven't bothered doing them."

The All Black star was put on a precautionary drip after being carried off the field at Loftus Versfeld and then taken to hospital where he was scanned and then cleared of serious injury.

Despite the heavy knock out Smith has vivid memories of his role in the Hurricanes 48-14 loss to the Bulls.

"Everything of the day came back to me and I even remembered right up to the point in the game, knew the score when I came off, how they'd got their points, things like that. "

"For me anyway, that assures me a lot, you don't have that horrible feeling and then it was a matter of making sure the neck was fine. "

"That's all I really had, just a really sore neck and everything else didn't bother me too much."

 
 
 
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