Lomu could play again following kidney transplant

The former all Black winger, Jonah Lomu, could play rugby again after a kidney transplant kick-started his road to recovery from the rare condition known as nephrotic syndrome, his doctor, John Mayhew, said yesterday.

"As a doctor, I am hoping Jonah gets back to full health and can do all the things he wants to do," Mayhew, the former All Black doctor, said. "Now, if one of those things is playing rugby ... he has discussed it before with the transplant surgeon and was given tacit approval for that."

Mayhew, though, said there were more immediate concerns for Lomu, who received the new kidney from an anonymous donor on Tuesday.

"He's still a bit sore, but is progressing as well as the surgeons could hope," Mayhew said. "He is talking, he is back to his normal self.

"He is not on a ventilator or anything like that. He is moving around, getting out of bed, albeit with difficulty at this stage."

Lomu, 29, learnt in 1995, before he barnstormed his way into international rugby, that he was at risk of kidney failure because of the disease.

But he went on to dominate the 1995 World Cup where he scored four fantastic tries against England during his side's semi-final victory. He was at his fearsome best again during the 1999 tournament where he finished as leading try scorer.

He had missed most of the 1997 season while undergoing treatment.

Lomu was unable to play in the 2003 tournament, completing only three Super 12 matches before cutting his season short to receive dialysis.

The giant winger became the youngest New Zealand international at the age of 19 in 1994. He played 63 Tests and scored 37 tries.

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