Injured by a violent impact to the face during the Europe-Namibia match on Thursday evening, scrum half Antoine Dupont is doubtful for the rest of the World Cup. Dr. Gérald Kierzek, emergency physician, gives us the possible diagnoses and complications at this stage.
Double shock for Europe in Blue. While the French XV brilliantly led their third match of the Rugby World Cup last night (won 96 to 0 against Namibia!), captain Antoine Dupont, crowned best player in the world, came off in the 46th minute. A violent head-to-head collision with a Namibian player stopped his game in its tracks, raising fears for the worst for the future.
The news would not be good for Antoine as one might have feared…
It would be a fracture. The operation would not be considered but return hoped for at best in 1/2.
The party has a very bitter taste tonight #FRAvNAM
— Matthieu Lartot (@lartot) September 21, 2023
A maxillo-zygomatic fracture confirmed this morning
Concussion, fracture? The player, visibly in pain, was rushed to a hospital in Aix-en-Provence in the evening to receive first aid and a diagnosis, awaited with excitement. The first rumors announced a fracture of the orbital floor. This morning, the FFR made it official: Antoine Dupont is the victim of a maxillo-zygomatic injury, but would remain in the group.
Communiqué XV of Europe
Antoine Dupont, the captain of the XV of Europe, suffered a maxillo-zygomatic fracture. A specialist surgical opinion was requested to precisely define the duration of unavailability. Antoine Dupont remains with the Europe group.
— Matthieu Lartot (@lartot) September 22, 2023
What does such an injury mean for the player?
It is difficult to know at this stage how serious Antoine Dupont’s injury is. Consulted on the subject, Dr. Gérald Kierzek, emergency physician and medical director of TipsForWomens, gives us a fairly broad range of what such a fracture can cover:
“To put it simply, it is a fracture of the cheekbone, linked to a violent and direct impact. In this type of injury, several types of complications are possible: limitation of mouth opening, diplopia (seeing double), periorbital ecchymosis (black eye), oculomotor disorders, incarceration of the nerves and muscles… Only the scanner can be precise. But in the vast majority of cases, there is nothing to do except icing and painkillers. Surgical intervention will be considered if there is incarceration of a muscle.”
Small clarification also from the doctor: “It is an injury in which blowing your nose must be avoided at all costs, as the risk of communication with the sinuses can aggravate the situation.”
Will Antoine Dupont be able to play the next matches?
Concern remains today regarding a return of the frame during the competition. Can we hope for Antoine Dupont’s return to the field in the final stages, within 3 or 4 weeks if Europe continues its “flawless” record? For Dr Kierzek, there is still hope:
“If it’s a simple fracture, without impact, he can probably play after recovery. If it’s a complex bill, with surgery or if he’s seeing double, it’s no.”
At a press conference this morning, the Blues staff announced a reasonable time frame to make a decision:
“We talk among ourselves, we exchange a little but we don’t have the specialist’s diagnosis. We are also waiting for Antoine’s feelings. So we really have to wait 48 hours or 72 hours to take stock of the situation. But we know that we are not dealing with an ordinary subject, from someone who is in active life. The doctor knows it and we are waiting for his diagnosis then Antoine Dupont will make the decision.”
A possible operation will be decided in two-three days.