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Weepu ready to return to SuperRugby for Blues

Piri Weepu has recovered from a stroke and says he is ready to return

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Article Published: Tuesday 15 April 2014|

Former All Black Piri Weepu could potentially make a miraculous return to playing Super Rugby this weekend when the Blues face the Hurricanes in Wellington.

Thirty-year-old halfback Weepu has made a full recovery from a minor stroke and heart surgery and has returned to training.

Weepu says that he went through an emotional time a couple of weeks ago when he revealed that he had had a stroke before his two Super Rugby matches in South Africa and also a hole in his heart.

"When I first found out, I had a few tears, because it's something you don't expect. I had my cry, rang the old lady [Kura] and let her know," Weepu told the NZ Herald.

"She gave me a bit of stick. It only took her two minutes to give me grief. I then got on with it, and tried to do everything possible to make myself better," he says.

"I guess my main concern was whether it would happen again. I had a talk to the doc [Stephen Kara] about it and went down the right path to do everything possible to get myself back on to the field."

Weepu said that it gave him a real scare but he never seriously considering him having to quit playing rugby.

"I was scared when it first happened because I had never had anything like that happen to me before. I'd had two concussions before which were quite bad and some of that stuff ... was totally different symptoms."

"I was scared it might be something worse than concussion. Finding out three weeks later and knowing the outcome was scary, but it was about getting back in the saddle."

In hindsight the first signs of his stroke surfaced the day after the Blues had beaten the Crusaders on February the 28th.

"That was frustrating. I was trying to talk to a couple of the boys at recovery - Charles [Piutau] and Peter Saili - and had slurred speech. They were looking at me weird and thought I was being an idiot, which doesn't surprise them."

Weepu says that he has told Blues coach Sir John Kirwan that he is available to play against the Hurricanes this week but it is likely that the Blues will be cautious with his return and that his first game back is likely to be the Anzac Day Waratahs clash at Eden Park.

"I told JK I was available this week, but he looked at me sideways. It's just making sure I do everything possible to get right. If it means I'm not available this week or next, so be it, just as long as I do what's best for me and the team."

After the scare Weepu has become more philosophical about his life and about rugby.

"The biggest thing now is to make the most of my opportunities in rugby and life. If that means giving something up that I'm passionate about to live happily, so be it. "

"If I have to stay at home and be with my kids, then so be it."

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