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Lions doctor: Bowe comeback is the stuff of legend

“The specialist said he had seen one or two people come back early, not in the time frame we wanted, but why don’t we give it a go.”

Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

“PEOPLE WILL SAY ’Tommy Bowe, bloody hell, how did he do that?’”

The above words from Lions team doctor James Robson is a mere projection of his own feelings. And as a man on his sixth Lions tour, the astonishment should not be underestimated.

Ulster, Ireland and Lions wing Bowe suffered a fractured hand on June 8. Two and a half weeks later, he is back in action, the cavalry speeding in to help push the Lions over the line.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Robson admits that he, along with the rest of the rugby-watching public believed Bowe would be taking his hand in a sling back to Monaghan.

“The immediate feeling was ’Oh my God, we have just lost somebody who we greatly respected and was back to his full peak.” Robson told The Telegraph.

Robson and Eanna Falvey took Bowe to Dr Peter Rowan – the orthopedic surgeon of choice for the Brisbane Broncos and a specialist in hand and shoulder injuries.

“The specialist said he had seen one or two people come back early, maybe not in the time frame we were wanting, but why don’t we do it and give it a go?

“If the surgeon had said no chance, that would have been a different kettle of fish. But he said we had a reasonable chance of three to four weeks, and we thought: ’why don’t we make it two to three weeks?’

‘Immense low’.©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

“We experienced an immense low, then a glimmer of hope and then over two or three days a feeling that ’Shoot, we actually might pull this off.”

Robson details the injury as a spiral fracture of Bowe’s metacarpal, “it came apart in two pieces”. As excruciating as that sounds, it was what ultimately aided the winger towards a playable solution as screws were necessary rather than a metal plate.

“Tommy’s recovery is up there with the best stories,” Robson added. A story made all the better by the addition of a protective hurling glove.

“The only way he can cap this off is to be selected for Saturday and score the winning try. I am hoping it will become the stuff of Lions’s legend.

“People will say ’Tommy Bowe, bloody hell, how did he do that?’ The impact is bound to lift everyone.”

Read the full account of Bowe’s road to recovery over on The Telegraph.

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Sean Farrell

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