South Sydney enforcer Sam Burgess is reportedly considering stem cell treatment in a bid to prevent his chronic shoulder issues sidelining him from rugby league.
Burgess struggled with the arthritic shoulder throughout the year and was clearly hampered by the injury in Souths’ final game, a preliminary final loss to Canberra.
Nine News has been told Burgess is weighing up stem cell treatment in the USA to fix the issue, but the Rabbitohs are yet confirmed the development.
On Thursday, rugby league great and friend to Burgess, Mark Carrol, revealed new details into the shocking extent of the injury amid growing concerns it could drive the Burgess into an early retirement.
“He’s not in a good shape,” Carrol told Nine News.
“His arm movement for especially a defender, the way he plays the game and puts his body on the line, he’s in a bit of strife.
When asked to rate the severity of the injury, Carrol was bleak.
“Out of 10, give me three-and-a-half. That’s how bad it is.
“And he’s been playing footy with this. That shows you how tough this guy is. And he’s been going great with one and a quarter of a shoulder.”
Nine News reported this week that the bone in Burgess’ shoulder was rapidly deteriorating. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Souths officials are “resigned” to the fact that Burgess, who will be 31 next season, won’t see out the four-year deal he signed last year.
Burgess has already had two reconstructions of the shoulder and had minor surgery during this season.
“He needs to recuperate his body properly in the off-season. He’ll get his body right and get himself right for next year,” brother Tom Burgess said.
Burgess injury may be career-threatening
“He’s very determined to get it right and I’m sure he will.”
An early retirement would be a bitter blow for his club, with the Rabbitohs losing Greg Inglis at the start of this year due to chronic injuries.