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Jordan Hendrikse discusses the low points of the first serious injury setback

Exciting young Lions fly half Jordan Hendrikse is back and stronger than ever, having recovered from his first serious injury last year after breaking his ankle on URC duty.

Hendrikse is a welcome boost for a struggling Lions team who are on a four-game loss streak after being eliminated in all of their local URC derbies over the past four weeks.

He made his comeback as a substitute against the Stormers last weekend, and is poised to force his way back to the starting line going forward.

“I was absolutely buzzing, it felt like my first senior starting game, which was also against the Stormers. So I was very excited, but it was a shame about the result and the limited playing time I got, but that’s the protocol,” Hendrikse said about his return last weekend.

“So it wasn’t the perfect game to come back to, but I’m just thankful to be back from injury. I’m 100 percent, no complications or anything, I’m completely fit again.”

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It was a huge blow for the 20-year-old flyhalf after enjoying a super 2021 where he made himself the number 10 Lions and played for the Baby Boks before being stretchered off in the team’s second game. discharged. URC campaign in Wales.

This started the toughest journey in his sports career.

“It’s the hardest journey I’ve made in my sports career, as far as it was my first surgery and first serious injury,” explains Hendrikse.

“The fact that it had to happen abroad and that my first tour was cut short was also a big blow. I enjoyed testing myself against some of the best players from around the world, so it was a shame that ended with an injury.

“It was one of the toughest challenges I’ve faced mentally. I had to take myself out of the game a bit and ask myself, would I come back the same player, would my foot be okay and would I still have the talent I had.

“So that tested me mentally and those fears were hard to deal with, but in the end everything worked out. The operation was successful and the physio went well, so I’m glad it all worked out.”

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Oddly enough, Jordan’s older brother Jaden was also sidelined with a broken ankle while serving in Springbok in the Rugby Championship a few months earlier, so he had gone through a similar process to what Jordan ended up going through.

“It was very strange and very unfortunate from our parents’ perspective, because it was very hard for them to have both of us with serious injuries at the same time,” Hendrikse admitted.

“He (Jaden) definitely helped me as he had just gone through a similar process to me, so he kept me calm and helped me with some of my fears and told me everything would be fine.

“My family as a whole has been amazing and the only positive thing about it all was we got to spend some time with all of them, which is usually so limited when we’re with our teams.”

Now that he is finally back in full action, Hendrikse is excited about the challenges the URC will face for the rest of the season and hopes to have a major impact on the Lions.

He is particularly looking forward to their upcoming match against Leinster in Ireland this weekend and is doing everything he can to get back on the pitch.

“The URC has a different feel. I would have loved to play Super Rugby, but the URC is a fantastic league. It’s a different kind of game that’s played in the North and it’s a different style than what teams play in the South,” says Hendrikse.

“So I’m excited to test myself against the best players in the north and if you want to be the best in your position you have to play against the best so I’m really looking forward to meeting foreign opposition again.

“When I was injured, the one game I was most looking forward to was against Leinster. It’s going to be a big challenge to play against them on their home ground with a full stadium, but it’s a game I’m really excited about.”

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