RESILIENT lock Michael Fatialofa drew high praise from boss Alan Solomons after dragging himself off the sickbed to help Worcester Warriors overcome Bath at the weekend.

Solomons confirmed Fatialofa had been diagnosed with hand, foot and mouth disease, a common infection that causes mouth ulcers and spots on the hands and feet.

The virus forced him to pull out of the side to take on Saracens and Solomons said the second row did not return to the club until late last week.

Solomons also revealed that Fatialofa admitted that he was “not feeling too flash” in the warm-up to the Gallagher Premiership clash with Bath last Saturday.

But the New Zealander dug deep to play 73 minutes of the encounter as Warriors came back from 19-3 down to win 21-19.

“Michael went down with hand, foot and mouth disease last week – that’s why he withdrew from Saracens,” Solomons said.

“Last Friday (the medics) said there was no way he could play against Saracens. They said his temperature was too high and then it turned out that he had hand, foot and mouth.

“That viral infection then continued. He came out for the first time on Thursday and went for the captain’s run on Friday.

“He wasn’t feeling grand as it was his first time out of bed.

“In the warm-up he told me he was not feeling too flash but would tough it out.

“Considering where he had been for the past week I thought he was absolutely terrific on Saturday.”

Solomons reckoned Fatialofa’s efforts summed up Warriors’ fighting spirit as Bryce Heem went over in the 17th minute of added time before Duncan Weir landed the match-winning conversion.

“In any walk of life resilience is what it is about as you get knocked over plenty of times,” Solomons said.

“This is a marathon, not a sprint and you have got to have that grit to keep going for the whole race.”

With Harlequins consigning bottom club Newcastle Falcons to a 38-17 defeat at Kingston Park, Warriors’ victory saw them climb four points clear of the drop zone.

Solomons admitted it was a “critical” win for Warriors whose next league fixture is on Saturday, February 16 when they visit Quins.

“It would have made it very difficult (if we had lost),” Solomons said.

“There is still a long way to go.

“But it was important for us to get this win in front of our home crowd and important for us to come out of this block with points.

“We have managed to get a win in every block so far.

“In the first block we got two (wins).

“We then got one (in the second block) against Harlequins and one in this particular block.

“This win will do a lot to boost the players’ confidence.”