Jean de Villiers
Cape Town - Jean de Villiers touched down at Cape Town International Airport on Tuesday were he was greeted by his wife, children, representatives from his Alma Mater and a host of adoring fans.
The Springbok captain fractured his jaw in Saturday's 46-6 win over Samoa on Saturday, and he is now back in the country to undergo surgery.
De Villiers is expecting to go under the knife on Wednesday, but he was due to see a maxillofacial surgeon later on Tuesday.
It is the second time that De Villiers has fractured his jaw in less than two months after his World Cup preparations were dealt a massive blow when he was injured in the loss to Argentina on August 8.
And one of more the bizarre revelations on Tuesday was that his wisdom teeth could have played a part in the injury.
"I was on the phone now with the dentist. So from here I’ll probably go see the maxillofacial guy to see exactly how we go about it. But probably, about 90% sure, I think I’ll have surgery tomorrow morning," said De Villiers.
The fracture this time is on the opposite side to the one sustained against Argentina.
"Apparently it’s because my wisdom teeth sort of lie on a bit of an angle and that creates a kind of a weakness within the jaw structure," said De Villiers.
"So they’re basically similar fractures just on either side so what they’re probably going to do is take out the wisdom teeth and put two plates in and hopefully it’s not another five weeks of soup. Hopefully it’s only a couple of days."
De Villiers is not expecting the surgery to influence his plans to get back to the Springbok squad as soon as possible where he will work closely with the squad in a leadership capacity.
"We always took that into consideration and that was the reason I came back, was to get that treatment and hopefully get the operation … and then probably seven to 10 days and then I can fly again so that’s the plan at this stage but … we’ll have to wait and see what the doctor exactly says," he said.
Bulls centre Jan Serfontein has been called up to the squad as De Villiers' replacement.