'You could just hear the break' - Lood de Jager details latest 'freak' injury
As injury-ravaged rugby players go, Lood de Jager is right up there, and the giant Springbok second row has detailed exactly how his most recent injury happened, on his birthday of all days.
De Jager broke his tibia, damaged his ankle tore the medial meniscus in his knee clean off the bone in the most recent in a string of nasty injuries to befall the lock since the 2019 Rugby World Cup. The injury has all but ended his hopes of facing the British and Irish Lions this summer.
Speaking to Jamie Lyall in a wide-ranging interview published on TheXV, De Jager explained how his most recent ‘mishap’ occurred.
“It was a freak accident. I was jumping for the ball, landed awkwardly with my studs in the ground and a guy fell on it. You could just hear the break. My first reaction was, I jumped up and just shouted, ‘No!’ twice. Hard. Loud. I was shocked. Especially with my injury history.
“I’d worked really hard to get back from my shoulder injury, get back in the rhythm again, play a couple of games and get my confidence back, and then this happens.”
“That night wasn’t great. I had a chat with our physio at 9pm and he told me, ‘Listen, this is serious, you’re probably going to be out for a long time’. To give him credit, he said that he wasn’t a specialist, and we’d see what the doctor said the next morning. But that night, a thousand things were going through my head.”
His awful injury luck has even made him question how his life might be effected once he’s finished with the game.
“You just question how many times can you go through this,” he says. “There’s life after rugby as well. With my shoulders, I want to be able to throw a ball to my kids and do the normal day-to-day things. But luckily with how the procedures are, they told me there was no need to panic, that a couple of other rugby players have had the same thing happen to them.”
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