South Africa prop Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira is being treated in a Cape Town hospital for a “not so serious” heart condition, a South African website reported on Tuesday.
The 26-year-old Sharks star, who has played 32 tests for the Springboks, is being treated for heart palpitations.
“There is a family history and the condition is hereditary. But it is not so serious,” the sport24 website quoted Sharks team doctor Ewoudt van der Linde as saying.
“It’s nothing new and has happened many times in matches before. Beast is used to it already.”
Mtawarira is also recovering from a fractured ankle that will keep him out of SuperRugby for three to four months.
“Beast has been struggling with the heart condition for quite some time and he is also recovering from his ankle injury, so we thought it would be the opportune time to send him to Cape Town for treatment,” said Van der Linde.
“They have a new procedure where the heart is treated with lasers. We hope it will solve his problem.
“Beast is a vital player for the Sharks, but also for the Springboks. That is why we want him to recover as soon as possible so that he will be ready to be considered for the tests in June,” Van der Linde added.
The website said they had spoken to Mtawarira while he was in hospital, but the Zimbabwe-born player had said he couldn’t talk “because I want to maintain a low profile”.
Mtawarira first made his mark in the 2009 series against the British and Irish Lions, with his powerful scrummaging and strong ball-carries helping the Springboks to a 2-1 series win.
Van der Linde said there was no reason to fear the condition could bring a premature end to Mtawarira’s career.
The Sport24 website also wrote that Springbok team doctor Craig Roberts had treated the heart palpitations in the past, but that the South African Rugby Union were unaware of the current treatment.
Mtawarira played in four World Cup matches last year and has also appeared in 67 SuperRugby games for the Sharks.