Antoine Dupont on the field with the France team for the quarter-finals? After his operation this Friday to repair his maxillozygomatic fracture, the master to play of the Blues can and wants to try an express return. If the medical experts prefer not to pronounce on a specific date for the comeback of the captain of the Blues, sources close to the XV of France evoke a resumption of training in ten days. And the Toulouse could even, according to these same sources, find the competition in three or four weeks. Either for the quarter-finals or semi-finals of the World Cup.
Did you say impossible? A study published in 2019 in The Journal of Craniofacial Surgery, on the return of injuries of professional rugby players after fractures to the face argues in its favor. In this analysis relayed by the very serious National Library of Medicine, the experts inspected the case of ten pro players who suffered a fracture in the face and then an accelerated rehabilitation protocol.
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"The conventional period of 8 to 12 weeks for the resumption of contact sport is generally too long for professional players," says the specialists to begin with. Coincidence of history, the average age of the players studied is 26.9 years, exactly that of the conductor of the XV of France.
18 days to resume contacts
But what is the average length of absence for these players after a fractured face? According to the study, the rugby players studied were able to resume jogging after about 10 days (9.9 to be precise), and specific non-contact training the next day. To participate in a complete contact training, it took an average of just over 18 days. If Antoine Dupont sticks to this average, it would allow the number 9 tricolor to find the group on the field only 3 or 4 days before a possible quarter-final.
Antoine Dupont operated: playing with a mask to come back faster, it's not won
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— Le Parisien | sport (@leparisiensport) September 24, 2023
Important clarification: the group of Japanese experts did not study only players with the same maxillozygomatic fracture as the master of the Blues. Some suffered fractures of the wall and orbital floor. There is also no indication that they had all been operated with the installation of two plates, as was the case for Antoine Dupont. No data is also mentioned for an average date of resumption of the competition.
Last important information in this study: none of the ten players suffered other fractures or sequelae after an accelerated or even "premature" return. May Antoine Dupont be added to this list!