South African rugby wonderboy and frontman for the DHL Stormers Pieter-Steph du Toit can break a leg (literally and figuratively) at how lucky he is to still have a leg to do this with.
The 2019 World Rugby Player of the Year underwent an emergency operation after the Stormers’ first defeat of the season, coming at the hands of the Blues at Newlands just over a fortnight ago. The Western Cape outfit’s team doctor, Jason Suter, disclosed the true extent of du Toit’s injury, which will now see him spend three months on the sidelines.
We had a medical emergency after the Blues game where Pieter-Steph sustained a haematoma that developed into acute compartment syndrome,” Suter explained on Tuesday.
He said the condition is a very rare one, quoting a statistic which according to literature, has only seen 43 cases ever listed. He added: “It is a medical emergency because if you don’t pick it up immediately the player loses blood supply to the leg and loses the leg. So, within 15 minutes of him coming off the field and us assessing him, we realised he was at risk because of his condition.”
Since then, Suter said the lock/ flanker is at home and is recovering well and, “We expect to see him back on the field in about three months.” Stormers coach John Dobson heaped praise on Suter for saving Du Toit from certain doom. “The doc deserves enormous credit for what he did,” said Dobson.
“Had Pieter-Steph lost his leg, it would, of course, have been devastating not only for him, but also for rugby. He is a World Rugby Player of the Year and it would have been a massive blow to the sport.” Du Toit is the Stormers’ player who has a Rugby World Cup winners medal, including Siya Kolisi, Bongi Mbonambi and Herschel Jantjies, to be sidelined due to injury.
The Stormers have quarantined due to coronavirus and will once again take to the field for Super Rugby action once SANZAAR has given the all-clear to do so – when it comes.