Ex-Munster centre de Villiers nears Springboks comeback after horror injury

The 34-year-old’s road to recovery is the subject of an excellent documentary.

SOUTH AFRICA CAPTAIN Jean de Villiers is nearing a return to playing eight months after suffering a career-threatening knee injury.

Jean de Villiers runs in a try De Villiers played for Munster in the 2009/10 season. Dan Sheridan / INPHO Dan Sheridan / INPHO / INPHO

The former Munster centre sustained the horrific injury during the Springboks’ clash with Wales in Cardiff last November, tearing his anterior cruciate ligament, posterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament, as well as dislocating his kneecap and ripping his hamstring.

The severity of the trauma to de Villier’s left leg led to suggestions the centre would never play again and the 34-year-old even admitted he had initially feared he may not walk again.

However, the Stormers man has worked incredibly hard ever since to rehabilitate the knee and surrounding area, following no less than six operations to install artificial ligaments in his knee.

Shoestring Productions / Vimeo

Widespread reports in South Africa suggest that de Villiers may even play as soon as this weekend, when Heyneke Meyer’s side face a World XV in Cape Town. The Boks are set to name their squad tomorrow and it is believed de Villiers is close to a bench spot.

The tale of his comeback has been the subject of an excellent three-part documentary shot by Shoestring Productions, the first two portions of which you can watch above and below.

The third and final part of the documentary will be released on 2 September.

Shoestring Productions / Vimeo

Although de Villiers’ time in Munster was not as successful as hoped for on the pitch, his personality made him hugely popular and he remains in contact with a number of senior figures within the Irish province.

Having their captain close to his comeback is obviously a major boost to South Africa’s hopes of World Cup success this year, particularly with number eight Duane Vermeulen set to undergo neck surgery.

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