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Monday Jul 29, 2013

Schoolboy suffers horrific double break below the knee - Injury update

Schoolboy suffers horrific double break below the knee - Injury update

South African schoolboy Martin Groenewald snapped his leg in two places during a match that was televised live across the nation at the weekend. It was horrific to see, but the good news is that the 18-year-old has since had surgery and is recovering well.

Grey College (Bloemfontein) vs Grey High (Port Elizabeth) is one of the oldest fixtures on the South Africa schools calendar, dating way back to 1929 when the two sides first met.

There were thousands on hand to watch the occasion at the weekend, but unfortunately post match it wasn’t the 50-28 Grey Bloem victory everyone was talking about, as Groenewald suffered arguably one of the worst leg injuries seen in rugby.

Tackled by his opposite number, the lock landed heavily as his right leg buckled beneath him and the pressure of the two players caused a severe break in two places below the knee.

Groenewald, who has reportedly signed a contract with the Blue Bulls, broke his tibia and fibula.

It was clear for all to see, and apparently hear, as the referee stopped the match instantly and players from both sides turned away in shock after realising what had happened.

Medics rushed the field and he was treated on the spot before being moved into an ambulance and rushed off to Bloemfontein Mediclinic for further treatment.

The resultant surgery was a success and he was due to be released today, but will take up to four months to recover, and then will need to start a rehabilitation program. 

“I spoke to Martin’s father this morning and it seems the operation was a success,” said Grey High coach, and former Cheetahs lock, Rory Duncan. He added that assistant coach Tim Fraser had seen Martin after the operation.

“Tim says he was in a certain amount of pain but it was slightly alleviated by the fact that he had 20 Collegiate girls next to his hospital bed.”

If you’d like to send a message of support to Martin, you can leave a comment below or tweet him

PLEASE NOTE: The leg break, and the few minutes that followed, can be seen below for those that are interested. The first fifteen seconds are not recommended for sensitive viewers.


  • benny
    9:42 AM 31/07/2013

    Get well mate. A friend of mine had the same injury in school, playing soccer of all things. He was eventually back on his feet and became a pro cyclist. Don't let this stop you!

  • ravens6
    12:28 AM 31/07/2013

    Hi Martin, I have been that player, Tib & Fib mid shaft full break. I have an IM nail for the rest of my days, but it didn't stop me playing. To prove a point to people that said my leg wasn't strong enough to last a tough 80 mins, I ran the Dublin City marathon in 3hrs 55mins 22sec. I lift more weight now than I did before the break. The reason, I concentrated on the way I exercise and wouldn't let it beat me. I can tell you now It will be tough, you will feel like throwing in the towel some days and you will probably be fearful of tackles when you get to play but remember this you hit hard before the break and nothing has changed you can still hit big. When you get the first month over you mail or tweet me and I'll give you some tips for getting your head back in the game. Take it from someone who has been there and returned to the pitch and is still playing at 39, 15years after the break. Get well soon lad. Twitter @iFitnessIreland

  • stubby
    5:34 PM 30/07/2013

    Reminds me of Joe Theismann and some of the football (soccer) stuff on youtube. Cringe!!!!!!!

  • motjan
    7:27 AM 30/07/2013

    Get well soon!!!

  • drg
    9:22 PM 29/07/2013

    Don't mean to post the first "downer" comment, but I didn't like the way he was left out there initially.. Injury occurs, all team mates scatter from the crumpled body. I get that it's massively horrific, (and I'd probably be off) but might have been nice if one of them tried to stick by his head end.. Congratulations for making RugbyDump, perhaps not the way he wanted too, but I'm sure he'll be on again in the future for more positive things. Good luck and glad to hear the recovery is; so far, going well. Hope you get back to the field soon.

  • thestonewall
    9:06 PM 29/07/2013

    All the best mate, get well soon and smash it when you get back playing!

  • reality
    8:05 PM 29/07/2013

    Jeepers - poor lad. That's really horrific looking. Well done to the referee for immediately stopping play and to the other players for getting off him as soon as they could. I hope his recovery goes well, and it's good to read that he's upbeat about it. Get well soon.


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Schoolboy suffers horrific double break below the knee - Injury update | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos