Springbok captain Jean de Villiers sustained a jaw injury during South Africa’s surprise loss to Argentina on Saturday in Rugby Championship action, and the team’s medical team is concerned about the issue ahead of the Rugby World Cup in September.
The skipper recently returned to the pitch after a long injury layoff due to a knee problem and the surgery that followed. The Argentina game was his first start for the Springboks in preparation for the World Cup, where he was expected to lead the Boks in England.
But this latest injury is worrying Springbok team doctor Craig Roberts, who admitted to being happy with the progress of De Villiers’ knee, but concerned that the jaw problem could force him out of the showpiece event.
The jaw fracture should see him on the sidelines for four to six weeks, but the doctor is hoping that the captain is able to recover sooner, so as to gain confidence ahead of the World Cup.
“The World Cup is close at hand now so when there are six week injuries now I do start getting a bit nervous,” said Roberts, according to SuperSport.
“On Jean, we have to wait for the opinion of specialists. We have some excellent facial specialists that we’ve already consulted but there are some that we will be consulting today. So far it has been quite positive. The problem is we want to give Jean game time,” he added.
“Jean has a swollen face at the moment and has difficulty chewing. The good thing is that while we have to keep him out of contact for the four to six week period, he can take a full part in conditioning training and we can still progress with the rehab on his knee,” he confirmed.
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