Pre-Season Injury Update

Our resident expert, @nrlphysio has been kind enough to provide us with a summary and update of pre-season injuries. I’m sure you will agree that the below is both very vital and fantastic information to have!
  • Excellent to see Josh Hodgson run for first time on anti-gravity treadmill; only 7wks post ACL reconstruction. The best news: no meniscus/MCL damage was present, makes a return at ~ 6 months (Rd15-16) all the more achievable! Hodgson did have a slight setback with rehab when some scar tissue tore in hamstring; very common with hamstring graft ACL recovery
  • Andrew Fifita received positive news from surgeon in recovery from minor ankle surgery last month. Will continue to ramp up training, should be fine for @Cronulla_Sharks second trial game
  • Andrew McCullough rates himself a “90-10” chance to play Rd 1 for @brisbanebroncos , would be 7 months since ACL/MCL reconstruction surgery. Phenomenal recovery if he achieves this; multi-ligament injuries much tougher rehab (surgery more complex, multi-directional instability)
  • Wade Graham suffered finger injury at training that required surgery to insert plate. Usually only 2-4 weeks recovery, is in no danger of missing start of NRL season
  • Kezie Apps (recovering from surgery to have screws/plate removed from ankle) and Sammy Bremner (stress fracture still healing) have been ruled out of the @AusJillaroos squad for the Commonwealth Nines Championship, to be held at the mighty Dolphin Oval in February
  • Gerard Beale is looking to start running early Feb, usually need at least 8 weeks minimum after that stage of rehab before a return to play. Would say Rd 4-8 probably a realistic timeframe for Beale (5-6 months since initial tibia-fibula fracture)
  • Lloyd Perrett is back in full training after collapsing twice due to heat exhaustion over the past month of pre-season. He is very lucky he did not suffer exertional heat stroke, as this is one of the most common causes of non-traumatic deaths in athletes. There are changes that occur during exercise in the heat; eg improved sweating/skin blood flow, decr cardiovascular strain, improved fluid balance. These changes help improve aerobic performance in hot environments, decr risk of heat related illness, & decr physiological strain
  • Darius Boyd is out 2-3 wks of training after straining hamstring this wk. Is the same leg that he injured late last season, but different muscle (there are 3 hamstring muscles, see below). Boyd has had neural issues since achilles rupture in ’14, worrying pattern emerging. Usual re-injury rate for hamstring strains is in the 10-30% range; previous injury to hamstring is the most significant risk factor for future injury. Each hamstring injury Boyd suffers likely requires more extensive rehab, should still have plenty of time to recover for Rd 1
  • Brad Arthur indicated today Clint Gutherson will not be ready for Rd 1 of the NRL season (would be 7 months 1 week since ACL reconstruction). Gutherson is expected to return sometime in the first 4 weeks
  • Great news to hear that Greg Eastwood has been cleared to return to full training after having a procedure to correct an irregular heartbeat last month. Ablations (common procedure used to correct irregular heartbeat) are ~ 95% effective, hope he can safely resume his NRL career
  • Angus Crichton opted to have middle finger amputated rather than getting replacement surgery of the joint he had fused. Joint replacements like this typically only seen in much older patients; they still require 3-6 months recovery & approx 20% chance of needing a second surgery
  • Not good to hear Moses Suli still looking to overcome stress fractures in his foot in time to start the NRL season. Some bones in foot have poor blood supply so extended healing time.
  • Penrith outside back Tyrone Phillips suffered a ruptured pec at training in December. Has had surgery to repair, usually a 10-16 week return to play (Rd 3-9)
  • Sione Mata’utia has been given the all clear by a neurological specialist to continue playing rugby league. Sione has suffered 5 known concussions in the past 2 years, hopefully his move to the centres this season will decrease the chance of adding to that number
  • Nathan Peats is ahead of schedule with his rehab 4.5 months after a shoulder reconstruction (usually 4-6 months return to play). Will be aiming for @GCTitans final trial game in February
  • Titans Jack Stockwell set to miss opening rounds on 2018 NRL season due to shoulder injury, listed to return Rd 3-4
  • According to coach Anthony Seibold, Greg Inglis is the strongest in the club with any “pushing” exercises, and top 5 for lower body exercises. Great measurable signs as he aims for a successful return from ACL reconstruction early last year
  • Jordan Kahu estimates he was at 60-70% fitness last year due to pain from ongoing groin injury, was unable to practice goalkicking. Good example how pain/playing through injury affects performance. Last week he had his first full training session since offseason groin/knee surgery
  • Stem cell injection Boyd Cordner had for ongoing cartilage issues in knee was success. Injection will have been directly into knee joint space for possible cartilage regeneration. Had injection mid Dec; usual 4-8 wk recovery will have him return to full training late in January
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@NRLPhysio is a new contributor to the site and in his real life is a physio working in a private practice dealing with musculoskeletal and sports injuries. Adding to this is his love for rugby league, so no one is better placed to provide you with a weekly injury report!

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26 Comments on "Pre-Season Injury Update"

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This is great info. Appreciate the effort!


Love your work!

Unkie Moe

Awesome stuff as usual.

Just wondering if there is any news on milf’s shoulder rehab and how it may affect his preseason ie limited strength work or would he be unable to do running, skills training as well?

Pretty massive year coming up for him and would be worthwhile knowing how well he’s able to prepare for it.


Broken jaw for Keary… apparently hopeful he’ll be ready by Rd 1.


Great read as always mate!


I read somewhere the other day SJ is still not 100% from his groin injury, can anyone update this?

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