Fortunately, the Scotland winger sought a second opinion and is in line to make his comeback in the United Rugby Championship match against the Lions in South Africa on Saturday. Steyn, 28, was appointed skipper by Franco Smith in August, an early statement in the reign of the new coach. The injury came at a frustrating time for the player but he has still been able to exert his influence off the field.
He is looking forward to returning to the fray this weekend after missing matches against Ospreys, Bulls and Sharks and is just grateful the initial diagnosis was of the mark. “We thought it was something really minor that would get better as the week went on,” said Steyn. “I started the Cardiff game but could feel right away I had nothing in the tank. I scraped together whatever I did, 50 minutes or so, and then we got the scan back and that made it seem like I was going to be out for four months.
“We went straight for a second opinion on that as that didn’t match up with what we were seeing. Luckily the second opinion came back and said that was wrong and I’d only be looking at four to five weeks. So it went from zero to 100 to pretty much almost zero again pretty quickly. It’s been frustrating but that’s just part of the game. You have to get on with it.”
Steyn has served as water carrier during his lay-off so has still been involved but is looking forward to playing again, particularly as Saturday’s game is in Johannesburg, his home town. “I can’t wait to get out against the Lions,” he said. “I’m going home so I’ll have loads of family and friends there which will be awesome. But I think also as a team we know we have to put in a good performance away from home. Saturday is the best opportunity to do that.”
Having not won an away game in the URC since January, it is long overdue.