Super Rugby
Ben Afeaki accepts he may never play rugby again
ESPN Staff
November 27, 2014
The Chiefs' Ben Afeaki makes a break against the Highlanders, Highlanders v Chiefs, Super Rugby, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, February 22, 2013
The Chiefs' Ben Afeaki makes a break against the Highlanders © Getty Images
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Teams: Chiefs | New Zealand

Ben Afeaki may never play rugby again as he continues to suffer the effects of a concussion sustained in February.

Afeaki and Brodie Retallick were each concussed in a clash of heads in the Chiefs' opening match of the Super Rugby season, against the Crusaders, on February 21. Retallick recovered and went on to enjoy a stellar season that earned him the title of World Rugby Player of the Year, but Afeaki is yet to play again as he battles long-lasting symptoms such as headaches, nausea and moodiness.

Afeaki, 26, is desperate to resume playing and push his All Blacks Test claims, but he told Fairfax Media in New Zealand "if it doesn't come right before that six weeks into the season, and I'm still getting symptoms then and I'm still not training at all, then it will be hard to see me being able to get fit and play again that Super Rugby season".

"I guess that's when I'll sit down with a specialist and decide whether or not to go through with it or whether to live a healthy life with my family and friends," Afeaki told Fairfax Media.

Afeaki said he still suffered nausea and "fogginess" when he concentrated, but he described the symptoms as "definitely less intense, they're not as full-on and I can still operate".

He is able only to take very basic physical exercise to maintain a level of fitness until he is symptom-free and cleared by a specialist to resume contact training.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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