Kiwi equestrian star Andrew Nicholson says he could have been paralysed after falling from his horse earlier in the month at the Festival of Britain riding event.
The former world number one fell from his horse Cillnabradden Evo on the last fence and suffered an injury to his neck.
“In terms of my injury I realise I have been incredibly lucky.
I won't be riding again this season- Andrew Nicholson
My surgeon, Mr Jeremy Reynolds, told me that the injury I sustained to my neck would have caused paralysis at the time of injury, in 98% of cases." Nicholson said.
He was rushed to hospital in Swindon before being transferred to Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital.
“I underwent an eight hour operation where they repaired the fractures and stabilised my cervical spine. This procedure in itself was not without risk, and I cannot thank enough, the team of spinal surgeons at the John Radcliffe hospital, for what they have done.” He said.
The 54-year-old Olympian is now recovering at home in the UK and won’t have the chance to defend his Burghley title next month.
“Obviously I won't be riding again this season as it will take some time to fully recover. Whilst I have to take things easy, I am up and about and fully mobile, and look forward to getting back to full fitness in due course,” he said.
He also wanted to thank people for their messages of support from throughout the world.
"I am very pleased to be back at home and wanted to take the opportunity to thank everyone myself for their kind messages and support which have meant a lot to me and my family".
The Dallas Cowboys and St. Louis Rams cancelled their second joint practice today because of a pair of all-in brawls.
As yesterday's session dissolved into a free-for-all, the Cowboys' star wide receiver Dez Bryant was caught with a punch to the nose that stunned him.
Fans continued the blows on Twitter, slamming the Pro Bowler for running in to join the fight and he later responded with the following:
"I wish I would have cheap shot his a*** - then all of y'all would have seen the difference," Bryant wrote. "You can't even put that s**t on world star lol."
The tweet was soon deleted.
"It should not be a part of our game," Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones told ESPN.
"It's not good for either team. Obviously, there are huge injury risks. We've just got to learn from it. I'd hate to think two teams can't get together.
"When you see the energy level out here with the fans, they enjoy it, watching the teams play. I do think we can continue to do this. I just think we have to emphasize we don't want this in our game."
Video of the in-all-brawl has since gone viral on the internet with the NFL now investigating.