IAN Isham has received support from across the rugby community since being struck down with a career-threatening illness – including from one famous well-wisher.

The Banbury Bulls captain began suffering from chest pains and breathing difficulties on Friday, with the issue diagnosed as blood clots in his lungs.

He was admitted to the Horton General Hospital in Banbury and was kept in overnight.

Isham faces at least three months on the sidelines and could even be forced to prematurely end his career.

The 30-year-old is head of community at Gallagher Premiership giants Wasps, whose captain Dan Robson had a similar health scare earlier this year.

It dashed the scrum half’s chances of appearing for England at the Rugby World Cup in Japan and Isham revealed the international had already been in touch.

He said: “He got in contact and said that if I wanted to talk I should let him know.

“It’s almost a carbon copy of what happened to him.”

The Wasps player, who has won two caps for his country, was ruled out for three months and later diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis.

Isham is waiting to speak to a specialist to find the exact cause of the issue, which will determine the type of treatment he receives.

He added: “If we can pinpoint what’s causing it then I’ll hopefully only be out for a few months.

“But I potentially could be on tablets permanently, effectively ending my rugby career.”

He is currently taking painkillers and is hoping the issue is treatable with blood fillers.

The forward missed his club’s thumping 55-15 win over Chippenham last weekend and word quickly spread over the reason for his absence.

Over the last few days, Isham has been swamped with messages of goodwill.

He said: “An overwhelming amount of people have got in touch – teammates, other clubs from across the area and teams I’ve played for have all been really supportive.”

The Chippenham triumph was the first match Isham has missed in a campaign where Bulls have raced out of the blocks.

They are top of South West 1 East after four successive bonus-point victories, with a trip to fourth-placed Marlborough next up on Saturday.

Isham was Bulls’ top try-scorer last season, but pledged to play his part off the pitch whatever the future holds.

He said: “The club’s started well and everything’s in a great place.

“It’s massively frustrating for me, but as soon as I’m able to get back out and about, I’ll be on the sideline trying to help the guys.”