Rugby-Worcester lock Fatialofa out of intensive care after spinal injury

LONDON, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Worcester forward Michael Fatialofa has been moved out of intensive care and into a major trauma unit after suffering a serious neck injury this month, the Premiership rugby club said on Thursday.

The 27-year-old New Zealander suffered the injury against Saracens on Jan. 4, less than a minute after coming onto the field in the second half, and was taken off on a stretcher with a neck brace.

"Michael has been diagnosed with a spinal contusion, a serious condition which causes compression on the spine," Worcester said in a statement.

"He has undergone surgery to relieve the pressure on his spinal cord caused by bruising and swelling.

"Michael's condition remains serious but he is making good progress and he is showing encouraging signs of improvement," the club added.

Worcester said it was now hoped that Fatialofa will be moved from London to the spinal injuries unit at Stoke Mandeville Hospital to continue his rehabilitation. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Christian Radnedge)