John Barclay felt anxious ahead of his return from head injury

John Barclay admits he was concerned over his head injury
John Barclay admits he was concerned over his head injury

Scotland skipper John Barclay admitted that he was feeling anxious on his return from a head injury that kept him on the sidelines for six months.

The 31-year-old was knocked-off by Edinburgh's Magnus Bradbury in September, leading to a concussion and raising doubts about his future in the game.

However, Barclay did manage to return in time ahead of Scotland's autumn internationals after playing more than an hour for his club Scarlets that helped him regain the confidence.

"I was a little rusty, which was a confidence thing as well (as physical)," said Barclay, who will lead the Dark Blues in the absence of Greig Laidlaw.

"Before the game I was a little anxious just because of the nature of having a concussion and having symptoms for as long as I did.

"It gave me peace of mind that everything is fine and that was great for me as an individual."

Recalling the recovery phase, Barclay said it was tough to remain on the sidelines especially considering the nature of the injury and was concerned about his return.

"It was a really tricky few weeks. I was out for six weeks and had never had head knocks before.

"I wouldn't say I was prone to them, I've had my fair share as a professional rugby player but it just dragged on a little bit and took time, which was frustrating because there was no golden rule (for recovery), it just takes as long as it takes.

"I had some symptoms and had to just wait and bide my time for them to go away.

"I was running out of time, which was playing on my mind a little bit.

"It wasn't ideal over the last six weeks, but I was lucky I got 60-odd minutes for Scarlets last weekend and got a game under my belt, and I felt quite good and well rested - obviously a little bit rusty - but I was thankful to get a little run out before the weekend."

Gregor Townsend's side will face Samoa, New Zealand and Australia in the November Tests and Barclay cannot wait to represent Scotland in front of a fully-packed Murrayfield Stadium.

"We had a pretty tough summer," he said. "(Starting) with Samoa, it will be a tough few weeks starting this weekend but we're lucky the ticket sales have been amazing.

"It will almost be sold out for Samoa which I don't think has been done before, so that's exciting and we have an exciting group of players."

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