FORMER Rodney Parade favourite Mike Poole is recovering after a third operation following a neck injury, writes Chris Kirwan.

The 27-year-old winger suffered the blow while playing for Llanelli against Swansea at St Helen's on December 28.

Poole was taken to Morriston Hospital and then to University of Wales Hospital in Cardiff where he has had three operations.

Andy Walker, head of the Scarlets' medical department, said: "Mike underwent a third operation on Sunday and is doing well.

"The operations have stabilised his spine and Mike is now on the road to recovery. He will be discharged in the next week or so all being well.

"The Scarlets medical team will monitor and review Mike's condition over the coming weeks.

"Once again, on behalf of Mike, his family and the Scarlets we would like to express our gratitude to all the staff and medical teams at both Morriston and Heath Hospitals for their excellent work as they continue to monitor him."

Poole signed a one-year deal with the Scarlets and Wales sevens after being released by the Dragons last summer.

The former cage fighter from Cardiff was a popular figure at Rodney Parade but his career was hindered by a catalogue of cruel injuries.

Poole, who earned a regional shot after scoring 48 tries in 108 games for Newport, has had three knee reconstructions and fractured his left ankle against the Ospreys last January in what turned out to be his final Dragons outing.