WP U21 lock JD Schickerling is hoping to make a successful comeback after suffering a broken neck against the Blue Bulls two weeks ago.
The injury occured in the fourth minute of the first half, when Schickerling went up to take a kick-off. When he came to ground, Bulls lock Irne Herbst lowered his right shoulder so that it made contact with Schickerling's head, while the other lock, Marvin Orie, grabbed Schickerling from behind and pulled him over by his neck to ground.
Both have since apologised to the 19-year-old, who has undergone two operations and hopes to play again.
'I went through a number of emotions over the past two weeks, which haven’t been easy,' Schickerling told MyPlayers.co.za. 'Frustration, disappointment, sadness, fear, anger, but most of all, I’m thankful that everything seems to be fine. The injury was very serious, but the doctors have managed to help me. They asked if I wanted to play rugby again, and I said yes, so I went through a second operation to insert another plate in the back of my neck.
'I was very close to not being able to play again! I’m very glad that I will have a second opportunity in life to be a rugby player. However, the doctors have warned me that it will take a lot of patience and hard work over the next year to make a successful comeback. I will just have to work hard.
'I have started walking slowly recently and I experience improvements every day, which is very encouraging.'
Schickerling said he had received plenty of support since getting injured, including visits from Springboks Bakkies Botha, Pierre Spies and Flip van der Merwe, and WP president Thelo Wakefield.
Photo: WP Rugby