02 May 2012 10:13

LONDON - Former World Cup winner Michael Lynagh may never regain full vision after suffering a significant stroke two weeks ago but doctors remain amazed at the speed of the Australian's recovery after his near-death experience.

The former Wallaby captain and winner of the Webb Ellis Trophy in 1991 was emotional as he spoke outside of the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital on Wednesday, telling reporters he was struggling to cope with a 45 percent lack of sight in his left eye.

"I understand how lucky I am," said Lynagh, who played in 72 tests for the Wallabies. "I'm just very, very fortunate."

Lynagh, 48, was admitted to hospital after suffering problems with his vision, coordination and balance on April 16.

A split wall in an artery in the back of the Australian's neck caused the stroke, his doctor Rob Henderson said.

Henderson said it was very rare for someone of Lynagh's health and age to suffer such a stroke but that there was no evidence that his rugby career had been a factor.

"As Rob said to me, 'you haven't just dodged a bullet; you've dodged a cannonball'," Lynagh said.

Lynagh, who lives in London, will continue therapy in Brisbane for the next three weeks.

"It's amazing he's done as well as he has," Henderson said.

"It's a rare event and, in most cases, people can't stop it. Everyone was very worried. We've been there before where we've seen people not make it back from that sort of stroke." (Reuters)