Du Toit: The pain was unbearable

Pieter-Steph du Toit has spoken about the injury that almost cost him his left leg.

The flank hobbled off the field during the Stormers' match against the Blues at Newlands on 29 February with a hematoma on his left thigh that developed into acute compartment syndrome.

Fortunately, Stormers team doctor Jason Suter made a quick diagnosis and Du Toit was rushed to hospital.

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Du Toit told Rapport rugby writer Hendrik Cronje that he soon realised it was a serious situation.

'When I got to the hospital, I experienced an incredible amount of pain. I couldn't bear the pain,' he said. 'They put me on very strong medication, but it did not take away the pain. I just wanted someone to do something for me to take it away.'

The 27-year-old was operated on that night, with the doctor cutting through the muscle to release the pressure.

'During the operation, he tested some of the muscles' nerves,' said Du Toit. 'It seemed to him then that it was too late, because some of the muscles did not respond to the tests.

'Then he saw me again on the Monday and tried to close the wound again, but he was unsuccessful. He told me later that he just wanted to see if the muscle would get better. Fortunately, it did.'

When Du Toit was operated on again, the doctor had a plastic surgeon there to help him.

'They were not sure if they would be able to close the wound,' said Du Toit. 'When they saw it, they told each other they were not going to be able to do it.

'Only when they started working did they see it was going to be possible. And they worked it out.'

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