Fatialofa, Worcester at odds over outstanding medical bills

The New Zealand Samoan rugby player Michael Fatialofa has criticised former club Worcester Warriors for failing to pay his outstanding medical bills.

It was feared the former Hurricanes lock might never walk again after suffering a serious neck injury during a Premiership game 13 months ago.

Fatialofa was left temporarily paralysed and spent almost three weeks in intensive care in London before being moved to a private rehab unit because the NHS Hospital next door was full.

In July, Fatialofa received a six figure bill for his stay at the Private Royal Buckinghamshire Hospital and tweeted overnight that he was still waiting on Worcester Warriors to pay the outstanding fee.

In a statement, the club said it was "disappointed and surprised" to read Fatialofa's comment on social media as they had not heard from him or anyone since he returned from New Zealand before Christmas.

"To be clear we will always be here to support him and are just a phone call away."

Worcester Warriors said it had already paid the fees it was responsible for - at a cost of tens of thousands of pounds - and neither the club nor Fatialofa should have to pay any additional costs.

"We invited the hospital to follow the correct procedure and claim the fees from the Clinical Commissioning Group, with our full support and thanks for the care shown to Michael. We have heard nothing back from the hospital or the CCG and this is the first we have heard from anyone on this issue."

Worcester said it remains committed to helping the 28 year-old resolve the problem and its lawyers are on standby to protect Fatialofa if the hospital tries to claim the fees directly instead of following the correct procedure.

"We care deeply about Michael, have a desire to support him, we went above and beyond on his rehabilitation even after his contract had finished - including paying for visas - and want him to know we will always be here for him.

"The Royal Buckinghamshire hospital did a fantastic job of caring for Michael and we are hopeful they do not sour what is otherwise a fantastic success story in Michael's miracle recovery from such a serious injury. We await their response."