The Stormer have provided an update on World Rugby Player of the Year Pieter-Steph with the medical staff revealing the World Cup winning Springbok almost lost his leg after the against the Blues at Newlands.
Du Toit went down with a severe bruise on his thigh in the game against the Blues, which was quickly recognised by Stormers team doctor Jason Suter after the game as a rare compartment syndrome and treated immediately.
“He had a medical emergency after the Blues game. He had a haematoma that developed into an acute compartment syndrome. It’s incredibly rare – there have been only 43 cases listed in the literature." Suter told the official Stormers website.
The Stormers' flanker was pivotal in South Africa’s World Cup glory in Japan and is set to be out of action for another three months.
Suter continued to explain how du Toit could have lost his leg:
“It’s a medical emergency because if you don’t pick it up early they lose blood supply to the leg and they lose the leg.
“Within 15 minutes of him coming off the field and assessing him, we realised that he was at risk of this particular rare condition. He was taken straight to Vincent Pallotti (Hospital) where he had a vascular surgeon waiting and he was operated on that night.
“It’s very unusual, very rare but they had to cut through the muscle to release the pressure and they were only able to close that leg 10 days after his initial injury,” he explained.
Stormers Head Coach John Dobson praised the team doctor for his work in identifying the issue with Du Toit and taking the appropriate steps.
“Doc deserves enormous credit for Pieter-Steph, had a rugby player lost his leg it would have been devastating for the game,” he said.
Dobson added that to lose such high-profile players has been a tough pill to swallow.
“It’s just something that you can’t explain. We had six guys who played in the World Cup Final – five are now out on long-term injuries. It’s really freakish. It’s not because of any conditioning issue whatsoever,” he said.
The Stormers currently have five Springbok players sidelined with long-term injuries as Super Rugby heads into an indefinite break. Stand in captain Steven Kitshoff and scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies are the latest casualties from the coastal encounter with the Sharks in Durban on Saturday, joining the likes of Siya Kolisi, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Bongi Mbonambi on the injured list.