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Rugby League: AINSCOUGH: I FEAR I COULD LOSE MY ARM.

Byline: DAVID BURKE

AUSTRALIAN Rugby League star Jamie Ainscough fears he may need an arm amputated after a freak injury.

The Wigan Warriors ace has undergone two operations after an opponent's tooth was embedded in his arm.

Ainscough, 31, has been ruled out for the season and said: "I don't know if the latest surgery has been a success because I have to wait for a few weeks before another check.

"The worst case scenario is I could lose my arm. That would be devastating.

"I have been very worried, but the doctors are confident they have caught the infection in time.

"Part of the bone has been scraped away and it's left a big wound, needing more than a dozen stitches.

"I'm now in a plaster cast and on a course of antibiotics for six weeks.

"I've had two operations in four days and the arm has been a real mess. The doctors hope the natural healing process will work, but if not I may need bone grafts."

Ainscough played three games after St Helens centre Martin Gleeson's tooth went into his arm in an accidental collision on July 30 - but the tooth wasn't discovered for a fortnight.

"It was painful but I didn't know it was a tooth," said Ainscough, "it was only when I took another bang on the arm a few matches later I went for an X-ray.

"I thought I'd broken the arm, then the tooth was discovered. I played another three games after the tooth was removed but the arm became more infected.

"I'm in a plaster cast and on a course of antibiotics for six weeks.

"The doctors hope the natural healing process will work, but if not I may need bone grafts."

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AINSCOUGH: Amputation worries
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 26, 2002
Words:295
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