Callam relives World Cup injury scare
PA Sport
August 30, 2007

Dave Callam has revealed his relief at being declared fit to take part in Scotland's World Cup campaign.

The 24-year-old number eight had been a major injury doubt after a clash of heads during Scotland's 27-3 defeat to South Africa last Saturday caused him to suffer blurred vision in his right eye.

Callam was rushed to hospital for tests on Saturday evening, but it was not until Tuesday, after he had seen two specialists, that he received the all-clear.

Scotland's campaign gets under way against Portugal on September 9 in Saint-Etienne.

``The start of the week was very nerve-racking,'' said Callam.

``The thought of being ruled out in the last game before the World Cup was terrible, I don't know if it was worse than waiting to find out if I was in the squad in the first place.

``Between worrying about the injury and the game, there wasn't much sleep on Saturday night.

``I'm delighted to be back. It's been a quick turnaround and I feel fine now.

``There is still some swelling but it has cleared up really quickly and it feels pretty much back to normal.

``I can't remember the specific incident, all I know is that I got this bang on the eye which gave me blurred vision in one eye, and the medical team were concerned enough to decide that I couldn't continue to play.

``There was very little pain - it was just a bit of swelling above the eye.

``I trained today although I didn't do any contact. I'm just giving it a chance to settle.''

Callam paid tribute to the Scotland medical team for their support during his worrying wait.

``You can speculate so much with injuries but our medical team were very professional. They just told me to wait and see,'' he explained.

``I had it checked by an ophthalmologist on Sunday and he said my eye function was fine, then I saw a facial specialist on Tuesday and he said I was fine, so every step has brought positive news. But it was still a huge relief to get the all clear on Tuesday.''

Now Callam is intent on focusing on learning from Saturday's defeat, as he tries to nail down a starting spot in the Scotland team at the World Cup.

He said: ``I'd played most of the match by the time I came off and I was pleased to get the first game of the season under my belt, although I was disappointed with some aspects of my display. Having not played for so long there were some mistakes.

``We're all disappointed with the result and in that sense we didn't get what we wanted out of the games, but we can all learn from the experience.

``Some of the rugby was good but we let a couple of things slip that we did well against Ireland and you make those sorts of mistakes against South Africa and they'll punish you.''

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