Sydney - An Australian rugby player Tuesday had his ring finger amputated in order to prolong his professional playing career.
Brett Blackwell, who plays for Glenelg in South Australia, had been in pain since breaking the finger three years ago. The 24-year-old was told that fusing the bones would ease the pain but end his playing days.
"It's not something that's been done lightly and to chop a finger off, it's a bit drastic," Blackwell conceded to national broadcaster ABC.
"But I love my footy and love playing sport and if that's going to help me to succeed at this level then it's something you've just got to do," he added.
Glenelg club manager Ken Applegarth said the decision was an emotional one that confirmed Blackwell's commitment to his sport.
"He just really wants to continue to play at the highest level," he said.
"He's been catching the ball on his wrist and bruising that all the time, so it's affected him, and he's made a pretty emotional decision." - Sapa-dpa
Wow. Good thing for his wife that his nuts weren't aching too much.