Leeds have revealed that international prop Zane Tetevano is set for heart surgery after suffering a stroke whilst training a couple of weeks ago.
The club say quick action sof the medical staff present, emergency services and the team at Leeds General Infirmary ensured Tetevano received swift treatment and has made an ‘excellent’ recovery.
Furthers tests have revealed Tetevano has a hole in his heart which caused the stroke, and he will be undergoing surgery soon.
The cardiologist has advised that the New Zealand and Cook Islands international can continue non-impact aerobic training in order to maintain his fitness but he is not yet cleared to play contact sport.
Tetevano said: “Firstly, I would like to thank the club’s medical staff, the paramedics, doctors and nurses who looked after me when I collapsed.
“I knew I was in the best possible care and I owe them a lot, especially our medical team, who reacted so quickly on the field, I will never know how lucky I was.
“I am confident that I will be ready to return to action as soon as I am cleared to do so.”
Leeds Rhinos rallying around Zane Tetevano in his road to recovery
Tetevano has set up a JustGiving page to support the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund which supports children and adults born with congenital heart defects across Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire.
The Cook Islands and New Zealand international will take part in the Run for All Leeds 10k this Sunday to raise money for the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund.
Working alongside the Leeds Congenital Heart Unit at Leeds General Infirmary, the fund is well known for their annual Wear Red Day.
Rhinos performance director Richard Hunwicks said: “Zane is one the fittest players at the club and someone for whom training is such a big part of his life.
“It is important that he continues to train to give himself the best possible chance of making a full recovery.
“As a performance department, we always aim to work to options that the players can do when they are in periods of rehabilitation.
“He is unable to do normal contact training because of the medication he is on whilst awaiting surgery and has to train at a lower intensity than he is used to. Mentally that can be a challenge for a professional athlete.
“The chance to take part in the Leeds 10k is a great way to lift his spirits and be part of a team whilst doing it. This is a great opportunity to do something with Zane that supports his physical and mental well being.”
‘We expect Zane to make a full recovery’
Rhinos head of medical services, Vas Mani, added: “The quick actions of the medical staff present at the time and the fantastic team at LGI ensured Zane received swift treatment and he has made an excellent recovery.
“We are now focusing on the next stage of his treatment and will continue to support Zane during the coming weeks.
“He has been very positive throughout this challenging time which is a testament to his character.
“We expect Zane to make a full recovery and be medically fit to return to play before the end of the season.”
To support Tetevano’s fundraising efforts, click HERE.