Scott Donaldson returns to Crucible after vaccine side effect put career in doubt

April 12, 2022
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Phil Haigh ✍️  


2020 Coral World Grand Prix - Day 4
Scott Donaldson was worried about his snooker future earlier in the season (Picture: Getty Images)

Scott Donaldson has qualified for the World Snooker Championship for a second time, revealing that he has recovered from a Covid vaccine side effect that left him fearing for his career.

The 28-year-old thrashed Allan Taylor 10-1 to make it to the Crucible this year, a result that has been a rare highlight in a quiet season for him.

The Scot has struggled for results and it is now clear why, as he reveals he developed an essential tremor early in the season after receiving his Covid vaccine.

Shaking not only in his hand, but throughout his body rocked his confidence and left him worried that he would ever recover.

After beating Taylor, Donaldson explained: ‘It’s probably been my best ever season, to be honest with you. I developed a tremor after my first Covid vaccine and that knocked me out for a long, long time.

‘I was worried if I was ever going to get back to full health again. To be even out there playing, feeling strong, able to get down on my shots properly, it gives you a great perspective when you don’t have your health.


2019 Betfred World Snooker Championship - Day 5
Donaldson has walked out at the Crucible once before, in 2019 (Picture: Getty Images)

‘UK Championships [in November] was the first time I felt good all season. I’m basically down on shots, I’m shaking and I can’t control the shakes. I don’t know what it was but it’s over now and I feel good again.

‘I went to see a private neurologist and he confirmed to me that it was the Covid vaccine that gave me an essential tremor that I was diagnosed with, that I’ve never had in my life. I’m not anti-vaxx or anything, I’ll take a vaccine for anything, it was just unfortunate I think.’

Donaldson went into further detail, saying he had been suffering the tremor beforehand, but first noticed it in competition at the British Open in August and that it was not just in his bridge or cueing hand and he feared the worst.

‘My whole body, it wasn’t just my hand,’ he said. ‘I played the British Open and my hands on the cushion and  just can’t stop shaking. It just gave me no confidence. It wasn’t really affecting my shots but I couldn’t stop shaking. It wasn’t nice.

‘Three months down the line it was still there and I thought I might have it for the rest of my life.

Thankfully the tremor had gone by the end of 2021 and Donaldson is feeling good again as he heads back to the Crucible, but said it was a problem that hit his snooker and his life as a whole while he dealt with it.

‘At the UK Championship in November there was no shaking, I went to see the neurologist and he confirmed that it had gone away,’ he said.

‘I noticed it before that [the British Open], I’d seen a neurologist before and he’d given me an MRI scan. November time, four or five months after the vaccine, I felt better and it’s been like that ever since. Even though I lost [at the UK] I really felt strong and played much better.

‘It affected my life in total, it wasn’t nice.’

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This post appeared first on Snooker – Metro.

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