WELLINGTON - Former All Blacks hooker Hika Elliot has pulled out of next year's Super Rugby campaign after undergoing neck surgery and may quit the sport.
Elliot, 27, is considering retirement after aggravating an existing neck problem while playing for the Maori All Blacks against Canada in Toronto last month.
A bulged disc resulted in his co-ordination deteriorating throughout the game, to the point where he could barely walk when replaced.
"It was quite scary for myself, my brain would say something and my legs wouldn't go," he told LiveSport Radio.
"It got worse and worse. It got to the stage where my legs weren't working. They said I was lucky to actually be walking."
Elliot had his spine fused in an operation last week and will see a specialist prior to Christmas.
He has already decided to sit out the Chiefs' Super Rugby title defence and is unsure when or if he will ever return to the sport.
Regaining the feeling in his hands and legs after surgery was encouraging, but he is realistic about the potential danger of playing again.
"Given my position and given the injury, it's something I need to take a hard look at.
"We're talking about people's lives and being able to walk. I don't want to play Russian roulette with that sort of thing."
Elliot, who played four Tests from 2008 to 2012, has represented the Hurricanes and Chiefs in Super Rugby since 2007 and played seven seasons for Hawke's Bay before switching to Counties Manukau this year.