It would have been un­think­able if Pi­eter-Steph lost his leg

Pretoria News - - CLASSIFIED­S - WYNONA LOUW wynona.louw@inl.co.za

IT’S hard to imag­ine Spring­bok and Storm­ers star Pi­eter-Steph du Toit not play­ing rugby, imag­in­ing him los­ing a leg as a re­sult of it, un­think­able.

But that could have been ex­actly the case for the reign­ing World Rugby Player of the Year, who be­came a med­i­cal anom­aly when he sus­tained an in­jury in the Storm­ers’ game against the Blues a cou­ple of weeks ago.

While go­ing over their med­i­cal re­port and how they are man­ag­ing their player per­son­nel dur­ing the coro­n­avirus out­break, Storm­ers team doc­tor Ja­son Suter con­firmed that they will be with­out a num­ber of their Spring­boks for the fore­see­able fu­ture – some­thing John Dob­son’s team will cer­tainly feel should Su­per Rugby re­sume at the end of April.

He ex­plained that scrumhalf sen­sa­tion Her­schel Jan­tjies, Du Toit, Siya Kolisi, Bongi Mbonambi and Steven Kit­shoff are all on the in­jury list. Kolisi – who is re­cov­er­ing from a knee in­jury he sus­tained in the Storm­ers’ sea­son-opener against the Hur­ri­canes – is ex­pected to be ready for ac­tion in four weeks’ time.

Mbonambi, who had to have surgery on a torn ham­string, could be back in June (five months from the date of surgery), while Kit­shoff will be out for four months as he is set to un­dergo surgery on a torn pec­toral mus­cle suf­fered against the Sharks.

The

Storm­ers will be with­out

Jan­tjies for three months due to a frac­tured fibula, while lock JD Schick­er­ling will be on the ca­su­alty list for four weeks with a torn mus­cle in his arm.

For Du Toit, though, it could have been much, much worse.

The blind­side flank left the field against the Blues be­fore the Storm­ers’ bye, and it turned out that he was deal­ing with much more than just a hematoma to his thigh.

“It was a med­i­cal emer­gency. He had a hematoma that de­vel­oped into acute com­part­ment syn­drome. They are in­cred­i­bly rare cases. Only 43 have been recorded in the med­i­cal lit­er­a­ture,” Suter said.

“It’s a med­i­cal emer­gency, be­cause if you don’t pick it up early and treat it, the pa­tient will lose blood sup­ply to their leg and could lose their leg.

“Within 15 min­utes of him com­ing off the field and us as­sess­ing him we re­alised that he was at risk of this con­di­tion. He was taken to Vin­cent Pal­lotti Hos­pi­tal im­me­di­ately where we had a vas­cu­lar sur­geon wait­ing. He was op­er­ated on that night.

‘They had to cut through the mus­cle to re­lease the pres­sure. They were only able to close that 10 days after his ini­tial in­jury.”

Du Toit is ex­pected to be back in three months’ time, and Dob­son cred­ited Suter – who went on to ex­plain that the Storm­ers’ in­jury curse isn’t down to con­di­tion­ing – for his speedy as­sess­ment.

“Doc de­serves a lot of credit. It would have been dev­as­tat­ing for Pi­eter-Steph and the game as a whole for a player to lose his leg,” Dob­son said.

Pi­eter-Steph du Toit

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