“Whether it’s a World Cup year or not, I know that’s a risk.”
No decision was made. I did tests after that injury, but we couldn’t really see what was going on with the knee. Especially at the level of my anterior cruciate ligament, which was operated on 15 years ago. That’s why we had to wait ten days. The next surgeon I saw in Bordeaux told me that between pictures and what they feel when they touch it, it is not necessary to operate. Many players play without a back tie…
No decision was made. I did tests after that injury, but we couldn’t really see what was going on with the knee. Especially at the level of my anterior cruciate ligament, which was operated on 15 years ago. That’s why we had to wait ten days. The next surgeon I saw in Bordeaux told me that between pictures and what they feel when they touch it, it is not necessary to operate. Many players play without a back ligament: this is not something that prevents them from playing at a high level. This is good news, because I was in doubt for two weeks. After six or nine months of recovery, I dreaded going to the OR and starting over. This meant giving up the World Cup. I will be there until the end of the season.
“I was afraid to go to the block, it meant giving up the World Cup”
Finally, you will have six or eight weeks …
I am currently recovering, no pain. However, this will largely depend on the healing of the ligament. So I have to keep the splint on all the time.
To get an injury like that just months before the World Cup doesn’t it feel like a race against time to get back?
Nope. In terms of time, six to eight weeks would take me halfway through the tournament. Everything will depend on how I recover and my performance at the club.
Hoping to play the final games of the tournament?
To be honest, it’s still a little early to think about that. I’m already waiting to start the race again. Then we will see my physical condition: six to eight weeks is still a long time to stop.
Jonathan Danty, who arrived at Stade Rochelais in the summer of 2021, has been extended until 2027 at Charente-Maritime. “There were only two options for me: stay in La Rochelle or go back to Paris. But from the way he’s been going for me since he’s been here, it’s been obvious. Stade Français will start a new era (Editor’s note, with the arrival of Laurent Labit and Karim Ghezal): I have already experienced a lot at this club. »
This injury happens when you finally put yourself in the French team. How did you cash it?
World Cup year or not, I know that’s a risk. We are also seeing a bit of difficulty with the number of injuries at the moment. I discussed it with the doctor, who explained to me that players are always a bit more fragile at this time of year. Especially with the end of the year celebrations. During this time, we don’t train a bit because of schedule changes: we’re only in the club two or three days a week, whereas usually it’s like five or six. We run less, exercise less…
“What if I blow out a vertebra or a neck? »
The day you got injured is also the day you took the field with Mathieu Acebes (1)… Have you had a chance to talk to him since then?
Nope. I don’t think it’s necessary. I got a few messages from Catalan supporters who were funny and sympathetic (smiles). Fortunately, there was nothing serious that day. But as I told my wife when I got home, it’s only a little bump at that time, but what happens if it’s my spine or my neck? We still see in the news with this young man who ended up with a quadriplegic after a dangerous fight (2). There are so many boundary movements that if we start to accept them… My body is my work tool.
Is this a topic close to your heart?
I understand that players can get frustrated. It happened to me when I was younger, and supporters took it upon themselves to remind me of it by sending me footage of my collision with Vincent Clerc. But the difference is that I was only twenty years old and the player in front of me was not on the floor. But it’s futile to rekindle the flame: I think he feels sorry for his team. On top of all that, I think he is a player who brings a lot to his club, sending back a very strong image of solidarity. If I meet Mathieu again, we can discuss again: I do not know him, but I have been told the best things about him. It’s not the person that bothers me, it’s the gesture.
Mathieu Acebes has been suspended for nine weeks. What do you think ?
The penalty was almost halved. We know that good behavior in committee and an apology always lead to a reduced sentence. Well… Now, the next person to make such a gesture will also take nine weeks. What if the next player is forced to stop his career?
During the November tour, against South Africa, you were the victim of a particularly violent clearing. Did this precedent affect your reaction?
It’s possible… That’s right, the move looks like this. I also wondered if, unconsciously, he was also influenced by the precedent with Du Toit. But this reaction is my character! I took the “cabin shot” and no one else (laughs). As I have had the opportunity to talk about this with my partner too, there are so many moves in rugby that you can mark your opponent in the rules!
Did these episodes help you become more aware of the issue of concussions?
I was not aware of this before: the number of players who end their careers after concussions is increasing. But it’s one thing to have one because I messed up my head and grabbed a guy’s hip in his face. A gratuitous attack is quite another. It is at these moments that you need to be careful.
What do you think about the debate about the dangers of rugby?
There are very difficult movements to judge: players run faster, impacts are stronger, longer playing times lead to higher fatigue than before… After all, many rules have evolved since my debut in 2010: players are safer.