De Villiers out for eight months

2014-12-03 00:00

SEEING the agony on Springbok captain Jean de Villiers’s face as he lay injured on the Millennium Stadium turf on Saturday afternoon left little doubt that the Bok captain was in deep trouble.

On Monday night those fears were confirmed after De Villiers was assessed by an orthopaedic surgeon in Cape Town. The Bok skipper faces around eight months on the sidelines.

De Villiers will have to undergo surgical reconstruction of his left knee after suffering an horrific injury in their final Northern Hemisphere tour match against Wales. The Boks went down 12-6.

Springbok doctor Craig Roberts will be looking to some of the best medical minds in the hopes of getting the Bok inside centre back to full health in time for the World Cup in England, beginning in September.

“We are currently consulting with the best specialists in South Africa to determine the best way to approach the surgery as there are potentially a few options available,” Roberts said.

With serious surgery required, it is now a race against time to get De Villiers operated on so that he can begin the long road to full fitness.

“It’s imperative that the best course of action is decided on so that Jean can start recovery and rehabilitation as soon as possible to give him the best chance to be fit for the World Cup.

“At this stage, it’s still difficult to determine how long he will be out of action, but it would probably be at least eight months,” Roberts said.

It seems as though De Villiers’s worst nightmares could come back to haunt him. The Bok captain missed out on the 2007 World Cup after tearing his bicep in the opening match of the tournament. And this most recent injury is not the first he has sustained to his left knee. Back on his debut against France in 2002, in which he started on the wing, De Villiers injured his knee just five minutes into the game and was sidelined for several months.

Saturday’s injury was bad enough. Having dislocated his knee, the Bok medical staff relocated his patella on the pitch before he was stretchered off for scans. It is now the recurrent damage to his ligaments that are of significant concern.

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