For strong-running flank Jean Deysel, 2010 was a season of highs and lows, his own personal disappointments tempered by the team’s success culminating in winning the Absa Currie Cup trophy almost a month ago. Article courtesy of Michael Marnewick at www.sharksrugby.co.za
His initial words take the form of an apology. “I want to say sorry to everyone who spoke to me after my injury, I was heart-broken at the time. It was just a freak accident but afterwards, I wasn’t the best guy to be around for the first two or three weeks.”
He admits that it was a major setback when it happened, having returned from another injury. “I’d just come back and was so keen to play again because the boys were playing so well. When I got the opportunity against Free State in Bloem, I had about 15 minutes off the bench. Then, on the Friday before the Lions game, I was told that Ryan had hurt his back and instead of being on the bench, they asked me if I was OK to start and I said: ‘anytime!’ About five minutes into the game, I hurt my knee – a PCL tear – and that was me.”
But nearly four months later, he is well on the road to recovery – after a lot of hard work – and expects to be ready some time into the 2011 Super Rugby tournament although an exact date at this stage is still to be determined.
“My knee is feeling a lot better and I am getting stronger, and over the last few weeks my rehab has grown in intensity. It’s a bit difficult to say whether I am ahead or behind until I start running – then we’ll know exactly where I am. But everything is going well and I’m training really hard, I feel some improvement every week.
“As soon as I start running, we can put a date to my actual return. I would love to get back as soon as I can, but without rushing it. I would like to be ready either three weeks before they tour, or only when they get back, not in the middle of the tour. It wouldn’t be fair on the other guys who had been training to do that.”
He took a week off to go fishing in Mozambique and is now back in full training. “This is my fourth, three-week programme now, cranked up by [Sharks Biokineticist] Jimmy Wright,” he explains. “Every three weeks, I’ve complained to him that he’s got soft on me, and then regretted those words in the first week of the next programme. But he’s kept me on my toes and I have a lot of respect for him. I’d like to thank him for not only putting a rehab programme together for me, but I’ve shared my emotions with him, we’ve talked a lot and he’s listened and that’s been fantastic, he’s been phenomenal. Thanks also to the physios who’ve worked tirelessly with me.”
Looking back at his limited role at the conclusion of The Sharks Absa Currie Cup campaign, he admits to a bittersweet feeling of agony and ecstacy.
“You feel a part of it, but on days like the knock-outs, you take a step back; I personally didn’t feel like I was doing anything. Afterwards, people were congratulating me – and I appreciated that – but I felt a little on the side. I’m not going to lie, I was a bit sad not being able to play, but winning made up for that. But there are also other guys in the squad, players who contributed during the season and also would have loved to have played but didn’t, we share the same feelings. But I was so happy for the boys, they did great.
“Sitting at the semi-final in the soaking rain, playing the Blue Bulls, I couldn’t get up in those final 10 minutes. But the boys defended for their lives and that laid a very good platform for the final. Province had to bring something special to break us after that tense last 10 minutes of the semi-final and as we know, The Sharks were the victors…”Tweet