(Reuters) - French rubgy player Aristide Barraud said on Thursday he was putting his career on hold because of injuries suffered in the militant attack on the Bataclan music hall in Paris, telling fans he was worried he might die on the pitch.
The flyhalf with Italian top-tier club Mogliano was shot twice in the November 2015 assault, suffering a perforated lung, injuries in his leg and Achilles tendon and five fractured ribs.
“If I play again I ... risk dying, and dying on the field, in front of friends and loved ones, definitely does not seem like a good idea to me,” the 28-year-old wrote on his club’s website (www.rugbymogliano.it).
The former France under-20 international initially returned to playing against medical advice, but said further problems related to unspecified treatments he had received had forced him to change his mind.
“In the last three months I saw that my body was not accepting the physical strain and was sending me negative messages, too many,” he added in the long and emotional online letter.
He did not describe his ordeal at the Bataclan. But he said rugby had given him a lifeline after the attack, and he would return as soon as he was sure he had fully recovered, both mentally and physically.
“Rugby saved my life, the idea of returning to playing saved my life. It also kept me away from the nightmare of madness,” he wrote.
Three men gunned down 90 revellers at the music hall in France’s bloodiest militant attack.
The assailants burst through the venue’s main entrance and sprayed automatic gunfire into the crowd as the Californian rock band the Eagles of Death Metal played on stage.
During a more than two-hour-long assault, the Islamist militant attackers executed some victims and took others hostage. The attack ended after one militant was shot dead and the two others killed themselves by detonating explosive vests.
Reporting by Silvia Recchimuzzi in Gdynia; Editing by Andrew Heavens