Bok star Cheslin Kolbe opens up on major injury battles over past year

Bok star Cheslin Kolbe opens up on major injury battles over past year

Springbok superstar Cheslin Kolbe has revealed the struggles he has gone through over the past 12 months to get himself fit for the upcoming Rugby World Cup.

The winger broke into the South African set-up in 2018 and then shone as they claimed the World Cup title a year later.

Kolbe would go on to play a key role in the series triumph over the British and Irish Lions in 2021 before injuries began to cause problems.

The 29-year-old has received a number of setbacks in the past year and has revealed more about what he went through in returning to full fitness.

Bok fans will remember that Kolbe broke his jaw in a match against Wales last July, but what they don't know is what a massive battle it was for him to bounce back from that injury.

And that was just one of a series of setbacks he had to deal with in a short space of time, including an injury to his ankle while playing for Toulon earlier this year that left his World Cup dreams potentially hanging by a thread.

"People out there don't understand what players go through on a regular basis facing an injury," he told the Springboks' official YouTube channel.

"Last year has been the most challenging for me because I would come back from one injury, play two or three games, get another niggle.

"I've had a broken thumb, a torn hamstring, a twist in my left ankle and a broken jaw, which was probably the most challenging one.

"I couldn't eat for six or seven weeks. You lose about 15 kgs within two weeks."

Kolbe's most recent issue was in March where the speedster wondered whether it would end his World Cup dreams.

"My last one was in March when we managed to get a gap and I literally scored a try, tried getting up on my feet and twisted my ankle completely," he said.

"I just lay down and was like, 'is this the end of my season? Is this the end of my chances of being selected for the Rugby World Cup?'

"Those are a lot of things you process through your head when something like this happens, but I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.

"I look at it more in a positive way, it gives me time to spend with my family and kids, which I didn't have during that time of playing continuously for six years."

Despite the difficulties he has faced, Kolbe believes that it has provided a valuable learning curve as he looks towards the World Cup.

"For me, you learn more of the bad than the good. Character speaks more out of the difficult times you faced in life," he added.

"At the time we don't understand why everything is happening but just having that faith and that belief in the man above is what has kept me humbled."

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