Thomas has surgery on heart condition
January 27, 2012
Scarlets prop Rhys Thomas is reportedly in a "comfortable condition" following the surgery © Getty Images
Scarlets prop Rhys Thomas has undergone heart surgery after being taken ill in training on Thursday.
The Wales international, who was struck down by a different heart-related problem in 2007, was treated by club medics before being transported by ambulance to Morriston Hospital in Swansea yesterday morning. The 29-year-old has since undergone "successful surgery" and is now in a "comfortable condition" but he will remain in hospital during his recovery.
Scarlets chief executive Mark Davies said: "All our thoughts and best wishes as Scarlets are with Rhys and his wife Paula and their family and the region will be keeping in close contact with medical teams at Morriston Hospital as to his progress but it is understood that he is comfortable and doing well. I am sure the whole rugby community in Wales would join with us in expressing to Rhys - all our very best wishes for a quick and comfortable recovery."
Born in Johannesburg, the tight-head made his international debut against Argentina in 2006 but his career was threatened by a heart complaint that limited him to a handful of appearances for the Dragons during the 2006-07 season.
Recalling that scare having battled back to fitness, he told the Western Mail: "After the game, I was walking back to my car and I just fell to the ground. I collapsed with this pain in my chest. Basically I had a mild heart attack. It was diagnosed that I had a split artery in my heart which hadn't healed up from an impact which they think I must have taken while playing in a previous game. I don't know where or when.
"The doctors told me I maybe wouldn't be able to carry on with my career, which was a massive disappointment. I was absolutely gutted because I'd just been told I was going to be in the Wales squad for the autumn internationals. I had worked so hard to get to that stage of my career and I thought that was going to be the end of it for me."
He returned to the international ranks in 2007 making his first start against South Africa at the Millennium Stadium but failed to cement his place coach Warren Gatland's plans and has been limited to just four appearance since that outing.
He switched to the Scarlets from the Dragons in 2009 and has scored nine tries in 52 appearances for the region - the last of which was against Glasgow on January 7.
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