Wrestler Adrian ‘Lionheart’ McCallum walked out of hospital 48 hours after breaking his neck in two places during a bout in Preston and insisted: “I’ll be back.”
The 31-year-old iron man will spend the next few months recuperating at home in Scotland. But he is already itching to get back in the ring.
“Feeling banged up obviously, but staying positive”, he said.
“I’m determined to mend and get back to doing what I love to do. The outpouring of support has made me so emotionally grateful.”
Lionheart suffered a potentially life-threatening injury when a move went dangerously wrong in the last bout of Saturday’s show at the Evoque nightclub in the city centre.
A medical team from Preston City Wrestling took care of the stricken fighter while hundreds of fans were ushered out of the venue. But after two days in the Royal Preston Hospital, where an MRI scan showed he had suffered a double fracture of his neck, but not suffered any nerve damage, Lionheart was discharged.
“He’s fine, just very sore,” said PCW boss Steven Fludder. “We are all very relieved that it wasn’t a lot more serious. We have a well-practised emergency procedure and it worked brilliantly. These guys are extremely fit and very experienced. But on this occasion it was just a mistake. He just landed badly, it was one of those things.”
Lionheart, who was coming to the end of the biggest fight of his career against former world heavyweight champion AJ Styles, told his fans on Facebook: “The positive sign is there is no immediate requirement for surgery, although that might change.”
He asked fans not to blame his opponent AJ Styles for his injury, saying:“AJ is a consummate professional and a safe athlete.”