Recovered Hendrikse happy to play again

Flyhalf says it was mentally tough to be out for three months

Athenkosi Tsotsi Sports Reporter
Gifted flyhalf Jordan Hendrikse.
Gifted flyhalf Jordan Hendrikse.
Image: Christiaan Kotze/Gallo Images

After the agony of a fractured ankle, Lions flyhalf Jordan Hendrikse is ecstatic about being fit again and ready to play. 

Hendrikse ran onto the pitch at Ellis Park last weekend during a United Rugby Championship clash with the Stormers. He looked happy from the moment he went on and received applause from the spectators. Hendrikse was in his natural habitat, passing the ball with flair and showing a glimpse of the player he was.

Hendrikse's stocks were on the rise and he was the talk of the rugby fraternity. The injury, in the clash against Welsh team Scarlets in October, was a cruel blow, ruling him out for three months. 

Hendrikse opened up to Sowetan about the traumatic event. 

“It was tough; it was my first major injury and also being out for so long. It was something I needed to deal with. It was tough because it happened overseas and I had to fly back. It was very tough on me mentally, it was a challenge,” revealed Hendrikse. 

The testing period for Hendrikse was the rehabilitation process, which took a toll on him, he says. Going to his appointments with physiotherapists while his teammates went training did a number on him.

“The toughest thing during that period was watching the guys play. It's every athlete's nightmare – watching the team play,” he said. 

“It eats you up from the inside and mentally. You end up wanting to rush things and for a fracture, it's all about time. In this whole process, I learnt patience and trusting the physios. 

“It was also tough on the body; it's a different feeling being injured. It was my first operation. It was tough mentally,” said the Baby Boks star. 

While he was on the sidelines, Hendrikse took time out to study his game and look at areas of improvement. The Lions coaching staff, Springbok management and the fans may not recognise the new and improved No 10.

“The biggest thing was not to come back as the person I was, it was about improving myself,” he said. 

“Having all the time, I focused on my game, skills-wise and me as a person in the game, all the minor things. Watching my performances and seeing my mistakes and what I can do better.

“It was about bringing all that into my game. I'm excited about getting my first start,” said the 20-year-old. 

The Lions will be in action on Saturday when they take on the Sharks in the Currie Cup at Ellis Park at 5pm.

Hendrikse will be part of the squad travelling to Ireland for the match against Leinster on February 25. He'll be hoping to get a start against the Irish province.

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