Cheetahs flanker Paul Schoeman, who has been stuck in New Zealand after developing blood clots on the flight over from South Africa, is expected to fly back home on Friday after an all-clear from doctors.
Schoeman has been in hospital in Auckland suffering from life-threatening thrombosis after developing clots in his thigh and his lung. He was hospitalised not long after arrival in New Zealand earlier this month.
He was withdrawn from the team that played against the Blues in Auckland, and had to stay behind when the Cheetahs went onto Wellington, where they were beaten by the Hurricanes.
Schoeman also missed the trip to Japan where the Cheetahs will play the Sunwolves in Tokyo on Saturday.
Schoeman faced up to a month in New Zealand due to the dangers of flying with the condition, but has now been told he can go home. He will have to continue with blood thinning treatment and wear compression stockings on the long trip back to Bloemfontein.
Blood clots commonly develop on long trips with a lack of movement. The 24-year-old Schoeman, who hails from Cradock in the Eastern Cape, is in his second season with the Cheetahs, having joined them from Eastern Province.