Brit Ward’s career in jeopardy after sight loss
Great Britain hockey player Sam Ward is fighting to save his career after losing almost all the sight in his left eye.
Ward underwent surgery on serious facial injuries after being struck with a ball during the Olympic qualifier with Malaysia in November.
The 28-year-old, who scored twice as GB won the tie, is still hopeful of making the squad for Tokyo 2020 – although the damage to his retina will only become clear over the coming months.
"Over the last week, I have received advice from three separate eye consultants," said Ward. "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."
Mark Hager’s men’s side secured a 5-1 aggregate win over Malaysia in London to qualify for next summer’s Games, while the women earned a title defence shot by beating Chile in their play-off.
Ed Barney, GB and England Hockey’s performance director, 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."