GB hockey player Sam Ward loses sight in one eye after being hit in the face

Guardian sport
The Guardian
<span>Photograph: Alex Pantling/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Alex Pantling/Getty Images

British hockey player Sam Ward has pledged to do all he can to make the Olympics despite losing the sight in his left eye in recent weeks.

The GB and England forward, 28, was hit in the face by a ball during the Olympic qualifying victory over Malaysia on 3 November. He underwent surgery 10 days later to reconstruct his cheek.

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“Over the last week, I have received advice from three separate eye consultants,” Ward said. “They have all told me that I have suffered damage to the retina of my left eye and that this damage is partly irreversible.

“I may get some sight back, but this won’t be a quick process, and whether it will be sufficient for me to get back to playing international hockey only time will tell. It is a tough pill to swallow but, as people know, I am not one to give up easily and I will do everything can to make myself available for selection for Tokyo.”

It is expected to take several months before the extent of the damage to Ward’s sight is fully understood.

Great Britain and England Hockey’s performance director, Ed Barney, added: “Sam has suffered a very serious injury. At present, our focus is on supporting Sam to the best possible extent and ensuring that he has access to the best medical provision and wider support.”

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