Springbok and Stormers scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies is hard at work recovering from his fractured leg at his home in Kylemore.
Jantjies injured his leg in the Stormers’ last game before the lockdown against the Sharks in Durban and soon found himself back at his parents’ house as South Africa shut down in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
While the injury to his leg has restricted the kind of training he can do, Jantjies – who recently celebrated his 24th birthday – has not let that keep him from working as hard as possible to get back to full fitness.
‘I can only train my upper body, which is not the most fun; at least on the bright side I will be big when I get back,’ he said. ‘It is challenging, I am not going to lie, but luckily I have a training partner in my brother, so it is nice doing the training and skills work with someone and not doing it just alone. It is part of being a professional rugby player and you have got to stick to what you think is going to get you back.
‘From the start of this lockdown I told myself that this is not a holiday. I knew that I had to work harder to get back on the training field, so I am trying to put in the extra work and find out what I have to do from the physio and the doctor. I went for x-rays the other day and everything is on track – I am just waiting for this period to go by so that I can get back with the guys and start training fully.’
Psychologically, the fact that the team is not currently playing has made the recovery process that much easier for Jantjies, as he is not missing out on any Stormers games.
‘I think with the nature of my injury this lockdown is helping me, especially the fact that I am not missing out on too many games. The difficult part is that I am not around physios or conditioning coaches, so it is difficult try to do everything on my own without their direct supervision.
‘I guess that is the hard part of being a professional athlete – we need to do what we can to recover and play again. Those are probably the things that most people don’t see, because they only see us on weekends playing. It is not as easy as people think, it is actually really hard.’
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