WP's Schickerling speaks out

2014-09-11 15:03
JD Schickerling (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Junior Springbok and Western Province Under-21 lock JD Schickerling has spoken out for the first time since suffering a broken neck on the field.

Two weeks ago, the 19-year-old suffered a broken neck during Western Province Under-21s’ clash against the Blue Bulls in Pretoria. The injury occurred after dangerous tackles from opposing locks Irne Herbst and Marvin Orie.

He was immediately rushed to the hospital, where he underwent two operations. Good news is that doctors have said there is a chance of Schickerling making a comeback over the next year.

“I went through a number of emotions over the past two weeks, which haven’t been easy,” Schickerling told the MyPlayers website. “Frustration, disappointment, sadness, fear, anger, but most of all, I’m thankful that everything seems to be fine. The injury was very serious, but the doctors have managed to help me. They asked if I wanted to play rugby again, and I said yes, so I went through a second operation to insert another plate in the back of my neck.  

“I was very close to not being able to play again! I’m very glad that I will have a second opportunity in life to be a rugby player. However, the doctors have warned me that it will take a lot of patience and hard work over the next year to make a successful comeback. I will just have to work hard.

“I have started walking slowly recently and I experience improvements every day, which is very encouraging.”

Schickerling has received a massive amount of support over the past two weeks, including from the likes of Springbok trio Bakkies Botha, Pierre Spies and Flip van der Merwe. The player expressed his gratitude for all the motivation and well wishes from everyone.

“I was overwhelmed after receiving so much support,” he said. “I appreciated it very much and it definitely has helped me to remain strong and positive.

“I’ve received visits from all my friends and family, the Western Province Under-21 captain and coaches, and the Western Province president. The WP family has been amazing during this difficult time.

“When I was in Pretoria, all the Junior Springboks at the Bulls came to visit, and a few other Bulls players and their management. It was also great to have Pierre Spies and Flip van der Merwe coming in to see me. Everybody said they are praying for me and wishing me a speedy recovery. They said they are there if I need anything, which was really nice to hear.”

The players who caused the injury also had time to speak to Schickerling, who has already accepted what’s happened.

“Irne and Marvin both visited me. They said sorry for what happened. I told them it’s okay and that this is all part of the game. At the end of the day, it could have happened to anyone! I’m just happy that I’m okay. My health is all that matters to me now.”

Looking ahead, Schickerling still has hopes of becoming a Springbok.

“Right now, I’m focused on making a full recovery. I want to build my fitness and confidence again. In the long-term, I still want to play for the Springboks one day. I will never give up on that dream.”

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Read more on:    wp  |  jd schickerling  |  cape town  |  rugby

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