Scottish rugby legend Doddie Weir has heaped praised on staff at Borders General Hospital after making an unscheduled three-day stopover there last week.
The 48-year-old, diagnosed with motor neurone disease at the end of 2017, was forced to pull out of engagements at home and abroad after suffering a punctured lung.
However, he was anxious to assure followers of his charity’s Twitter page that his admission was due to an accident and was unrelated to his ongoing fight for life.
The former lock also thanked staff for their care and praised the Melrose hospital’s food.
He said: “Just a wee note to say that last week I took a bit of a cowp – I tripped over a power-wash hose – and did myself a bit of damage, namely puncturing a lung, which is why I missed the Winter Words Festival in Pitlochry and the Laureus World Sports Awards in Monte Carlo.
“Things weren’t progressing so quickly as the doctors wanted, so I had to spend three nights this week in ward seven of the Borders General Hospital, bed and full board.”
Edinburgh-born Doddie, awarded the Order of the British Empire in the latest new year honours list, began his professional rugby career at Melrose in 1991, remaining there until he moved south to play for Newcastle Falcons from 1995 to 2002.
Capped 61 times by his country, he ended his playing days with the now-disbanded Border Reivers in 2005.
Doddie, of Blainslie, added: “A big thanks you to the doctors, nurses and staff for all their care, help and attention – and the dinners were magic.”
Thankfully, or, given the result, unfortunately, Doddie was back home in time to watch television coverage of the 27-10 defeat by France of the Scottish national team, captained by fellow Borderer Greig Laidlaw, in the Six Nations in Paris at the weekend.
That was their second defeat on the bounce, following a 22-13 loss to Ireland.