VIDEO: Moerat opens up about 'very scary' injury and surgery
Talented young lock Salmaan Moerat is looking forward to finally returning to the playing field, after spending well over four months on the sidelines in the wake of a career-threatening neck injury.
The lock suffered what was termed a ‘neck-flexor’ injury in a freak training ground mishap in mid-April and will make his return – most likely off the bench – in the opening match of the Stormers’ United Rugby Championship tour against Benetton in Treviso next week.
Moerat, who was appointed the Stormers’ vice-captain earlier in the year, missed the Rainbow and Currie Cup tournaments – requiring surgery to stabilise his neck.
“It was a very scary time in my life,” Moerat told a virtual media briefing, after being named co-captain with Ernst van Rhyn for the Stormers for the upcoming European leg of the United Rugby Championship.
With regular Stormers captain Steven Kitshoff away on Springbok duty, Moerat and van Rhyn will share the captaincy responsibilities on a trip that will see the Cape Town franchise take on Benetton, Munster, Edinburgh and the Dragons over the next month.
“During that time, it gave me a chance to reflect on my career,” he said of his lengthy lay-off.
“It has given me a new perspective on the game.”
He admitted it has forced him to make ‘changes’ to his game.
(Article continues below the video …)
“I feel refreshed,” he said, adding: “I will stick to what I know.
“I love the hard side of the game.
“In saying that, I will make a few tweaks to evolve my game and become a better and smarter player.
“I am just really excited to be back.”
He said it was a “long time coming”, having spent the better part of five months on the sidelines.
“I am really grateful to be part of the touring squad.”
Moerat, 23, has become a stalwart of the Western Province and Stormers second row since he debut in 2018.
The former SA Schools and SA Under-20 captain was also part of the Springbok alignment camps before the injury in April.