Springboks and Stormers ace Pieter-Steph du Toit hopes he isn’t scarred by his recent career-threatening injury.
The lock-cum-flank nearly lost his leg due to a rare thigh injury in the Stormers’ first loss of the Super Rugby season to the Blues at Newlands last month.
Team doctor Jason Suter revealed that Du Toit suffered a haematoma - bleeding in the muscle - and needed an immediate operation to release the pressure or lose his leg.
It would have been tragic for anyone to lose a limb. But for the World Rugby Player of the Year, who had just won the World Cup, it would have been a catastrophe.
The 27-year-old told Rapport: “When I got to the hospital, I experienced an incredible amount of pain. I couldn’t bear the pain.
“They put me on very strong medication, but it did not take away the pain. I just wanted someone to do something for me to take it away.
“During the operation, he tested some of the muscles’ nerves. By then it appeared to be too late because some of the muscles did not respond to the tests.”
“Then he saw me again on the Monday and tried to close the wound again, but he was unsuccessful. He told me later that he just wanted to see if the muscle would get better. Fortunately, it did.”
He wasn’t out of the woods yet and the following Thursday, he needed another operation on the wound, with a plastic surgeon called in to help.
Du Toit was told that it would be impossible to close the wound up, until the exploratory procedure was successful.
He adds: “Only when they started working did they see it was going to be possible. And they closed it.”
The Stormers reckon that he will be fit again to resume his rugby career in three months’ time.