Concern for Boks over Du Toit injury

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber has hinted that there is some cause for concern over the shoulder injury suffered by Pieter-Steph du Toit in Saturday’s clash with the British & Irish Lions.

Fairly early on in the first half, Du Toit was tipped in a late tackle by Duhan van der Merwe, and lay prone on the ground for some time.

Du Toit would return to play, but looked to be in clear discomfort, and ultimately had no choice but to leave the field.

His place was taken by Kwagga Smith, but it wasn’t a like-for-like replacement, and the Bok lineout only really seemed to stabilise once Lood de Jager was introduced to proceedings in the second half.

From some of the footage of Du Toit when he was sitting pitchside to have his injury treated, it was clearly evident just how devastated he was to be pulled prematurely from play.

Of course, it can’t be forgotten that the 2019 World Player of the Year only recently overcame a career-threatening leg injury, but he had quickly rediscovered some sensational form.

It would be a serious blow for the Boks if Du Toit is unavailable for the series-deciding final Test.

Immediately after Saturday’s match, Nienaber said they would await the full medical report, but admitted Du Toit was not the sort of player who would leave the field unless absolutely necessary.

“I haven’t seen Pieter-Steph come off a lot, but there is no detailed assessment as yet, and it will probably be 48 hours before we get a full diagnosis.

“Once we’ve had all those checks done, we’ll have a proper idea after that. But, ja, he’s not normally someone who comes off for nothing.”

However, following on from Nienaber in Saturday’s post-match media conference, Bok prop Steven Kitshoff said he expected Du Toit to be ready for the decisive third Test.

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Craig Lewis