Super Rugby: Crusaders fullback David Havili had 20cm infection removed from bowel

Crusaders fullback David Havili posted this photo of himself in hospital during his recovery. Picture: DAVID HAVILI/INSTAGRAM

A fresh and hefty vertical scar stretches up to David Havili’s belly button, connecting with an older horizontal scar and creating a “T” shape.

They’re forever proof of two stomach surgeries, the first when he was just six months old, followed by a second last month after the 25-year-old Crusaders utility back was struck down with stomach pain.

Speculation surfaced when the Crusaders confirmed he’d had emergency stomach surgery at Christchurch Hospital on March 6, with suggestions he’d had a foreign object removed.

However, almost five weeks since he went under the knife, an upbeat Havili told Stuff the only thing removed was 20cm of his bowel, because he had a similar – but more serious – infection to the one he had as a child.

Still perhaps only halfway through his recovery, Havili has had ample time to re-live how quickly he went downhill before he was rushed into surgery.

Arguably the form Super Rugby player through the first four weeks of the season, Havili was told he was to have a well-earned break and would not be required to play against the Reds on March 6.

But he continued to train, fronting at Rugby Park on the Monday despite “not feeling myself”.

He woke up the following day and felt fine, so he trained the next two days. During the segment of training open to media on the Wednesday, he was spotted running freely and kicking a ball with teammate Will Jordan.

“It wasn’t until the captain’s run day [Thursday], I came in to do my last gym session and I was talking to him [Jordan] and I said, ‘s…, I don’t feel flash, I’ve got a bit of a store stomach,’.”

The pain started to absorb him, particularly when he touched the right-side of his stomach, prompting Havili to contact team doctor Martin Swan, who suspected he might have appendicitis.

But that was swiftly ruled out when Havili called his mother and she advised he’d had his appendix removed when he was younger.


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