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Spies:’I want to play again’

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Springbok sensation Pierre Spies will undergo more blood tests in a bid to get to the bottom of the hereditary illness which forced him to withdraw from South Africa’s World Cup squad earlier this week.

Spies, 22, was diagnosed with pulmonary embolism (blood clots on the lungs) and withdrew from the South African team on Monday, with the initial prognoses being that he would be sidelined for at least six to eight months.

However, the young star has said that he has not yet given up on his dream to play rugby for his country again.

Even though it was revealed during the week that his father, Pierre Spies Senior, a champion hurdler and a star winger for Northern Transvaal (now Blue Bulls) in the 1970s, had died from a heart attack at the relatively young age of 54, Spies said this does not mean he has the same disease .

Spies Junior’s aunt also has the rare blood condition, while his grandfather also died of a related illness.

But despite these revelations, the powerful and explosive 106-kilogram loose forward – who is currently undergoing blood tests in Pretoria – is still not sure what caused his chest pains, coughing of blood after training and shortness of breath.

“There are rumours that my blood is too thick and that I have inherited it from my late father, but I can’t confirm that,” Spies said in a statement on Friday.

“I don’t know whether I have thick blood and I am not even sure that my dad who died from a heart attack had thick blood.”

He added: “I went for blood tests earlier this week, but the results are not available yet and I will go for more tests later.”

Spies – who will be in Pretoria for the next couple of weeks, but will be “under the radar” as he begins his enforced lay-off from contact sport – is allowed to do light cardiovascular work in the meantime.

“I am very positive, I know this is only temporarily and I know what God has planned for me,” said Spies, who made his Test debut just last year.

“I’m looking forward to playing again.”

 

365 Digital

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