A Bulls star lock has spoken out about his return to form following a lengthy injury layoff due to Covid-19 and a serious heart condition, which required two corrective surgeries.
Walt Steenkamp was a substitute in the Bulls’ opening Rainbow Cup SA match against the Lions, but moved up to starting lineup for both their matches against the Stormers and Sharks and was impressive in both those encounters.
But prior to his recent return to the team and his subsequent commanding performances, Steenkamp was sidelined for five months due to health problems.
Steenkamp was one of the Bulls player who tested positive for Covid-19 in December when an outbreak hit Jake White’s squad.
As a result, players had to undergo various health checks and unfortunately for Steenkamp his cardiac test revealed he suffered from a serious condition – heart arrhythmia.
‘The doctor told me I had just 40% heart function and my two upper chambers were beating quicker than the bottom two,’ Steenkamp told Sport24 earlier this week.
‘It’s a major scare to hear something like that, but, following two procedures, I feel 100% again. It was always the plan to play again, the only question was when? I’m just so grateful to be back playing.’
‘I didn’t play rugby for almost five months, but it didn’t feel as if I were away that long. I’ll never complain over a niggle or some strenuous fitness programme ever again. It’s just great to be back.’
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