Super Rugby

Pieter-Steph to miss Stormers' return to rugby, but coach John Dobson says 'no panic stations'

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Pieter-Steph du Toit (Gallo Images)
Pieter-Steph du Toit (Gallo Images)
  • Springbok and Stormers flank Pieter-Steph du Toit is not yet fully recovered from a leg injury.
  • Stormers coach John Dobson says the muscle around the nerve protecting Du Toit's knee "is not growing back fast enough".
  • It's not panic stations yet, Dobson has said, but Du Toit will miss the start of the Stormers' season return.

Springbok and Stormers flank Pieter-Steph du Toit's recovery from a leg injury is a long and arduous process.

Du Toit, the 2019 World Rugby Player of the Year, suffered the freak injury during a Super Rugby game against the Blues in March - just before the season was halted due to the coronavirus outbreak.

READ | Stormers doctor reveals rare injury that almost ended Pieter-Steph's career

At the time, Stormers team doctor Jason Suter said the injury was incredibly rare and potentially career threatening.

Suter said there had been only 43 such cases listed in the literature worldwide and Du Toit could have lost his leg.

Fast-forward six months with the Stormers bracing for a return to rugby, head coach John Dobson says Du Toit is not fully recovered yet.

"Pieter-Steph is not ready yet and the truth is we don't know when he'll be ready," Dobson told reporters during a virtual press conference on Thursday.

"We talked about the injury in March... of the [43] guys in the world that have had it, 21 have had amputations.

"It was predicted to be a six-month injury. There's a nerve in that muscle which was damaged that sort of protects the knee. The muscle around that nerve is not growing back fast enough."

Dobson said Du Toit would not be ready for next Saturday's 'Super Fan Saturday' clash against the Lions in Pretoria and not for the start of the local competition on 10 October.

"It is showing signs of growth, so our hope is that he only misses the first two games. He will miss the start [of the local tournament], but he is training full out. He's training properly, there's no panic stations, it's just that he's not going to be ready for Marble (Super Fan Saturday) and probably not our first two games.

"Nerves are often open-ended injuries... they need to start regrowing and regenerating, so the doctor's under pressure to give me an exact date, but I suspect it's going to be certainly towards the back end of October at best."

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