Josh McNally: London Irish lock targets March return after heart surgery

Josh McNally
Josh McNally is a serving member of the Royal Air Force and plays professionally with London Irish

London Irish lock Josh McNally has targeted a March return to first-team duty after he had a procedure to correct a hole in his heart.

McNally, 27. had tests after feeling unwell following October's Premiership defeat by Saracens that showed a small hole in the organ.

He had a small procedure to correct the condition, known as Patent Foramen Ovale, and is now back in training.

"I felt really good after the operation," McNally said.

"I would like to thank the doctors and nurses at London Bridge Hospital who were fantastic every step of the way.

"The medical staff at London Irish have been first class too."

McNally has played seven Premiership games for the Exiles since joining in January 2017.

Former Scotland midfielder Asa Hartford enjoyed a 14-year career with 10 different clubs despite a similar condition, although famously failed a medical at Leeds in 1971.

The cardiac defect does not usually show symptoms but increases the risk of a stroke.

"As a club we're delighted that Josh's operation went smoothly and it's great to see him back in training as he aims to get himself up to speed," director of rugby Nick Kennedy said.

"He's been in very good form in recent months with his excellent work rate and commitment really coming to the fore and is on track to be back in action in the not too distant future."

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