Fantasy Rugby League

Preseason Injury Round-up

Our resident rugby league injury expert, the NRL Physio is back with a wrap-up of the injuries and recoveries in the NRL preseason.


Josh Hodgson

Excellent to see the English hooker run for first time on anti-gravity treadmill; only seven weeks post ACL reconstruction (see video below). The best news: no meniscus/MCL damage was present, makes a return at less than six months (Round 15-16) 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

The big Shark received positive news from surgeon in recovery from minor ankle surgery last month. Will continue to ramp up training, should be fine for the Sharks second trial game and is therefore good to be drafted with no concerns.

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Andrew McCullough

The Broncos rake rates himself a “90-10” chance to play Round 1. This would be seven 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

The Sharks captain in waiting suffered finger injury at training that required surgery to insert plate. It is usually only two to four weeks recovery and therefore he is in no danger of missing start of NRL season.


Gerard Beale

The Kiwi outside back is looking to start running in early February and athletes usually need at least eight weeks minimum after that stage of rehab before a return to play. I would say Round 4-8 is probably a realistic time frame for Beale (5-6 months since initial tibia-fibula fracture).

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Darius Boyd

Darius Boyd is out for 2-3 weeks of training after straining hamstring this week. It is the same leg that he injured late last season, but different muscle (there are three hamstring muscles. 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 Round 1.


Clint Gutherson

Brad Arthur indicated this week Clint Gutherson will not be ready for Round 1 of the NRL season (would be seven months and one week since his ACL reconstruction). Gutherson is expected to return sometime in the first four weeks of the season.


Angus Crichton

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 and approximately 20% chance of needing a second surgery. He’ll be ready to roll for Round 1.


Nathan Peats

The Titans joker is ahead of schedule with his rehab five months months after a shoulder reconstruction (usually 4-6 months return to play). He will be aiming for the Titans final trial game in February.


Boyd Cordner

Stem cell injection Boyd Cordner had for ongoing cartilage issues in knee was a success. The injection will have been directly into knee joint space for possible cartilage regeneration. He had an injection mid December and it is usually 4-8 wk recovery will have him return to full training late in January.

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Jordan Kahu

Kahu estimates he was at 60-70% fitness last year due to pain from ongoing groin injury, was unable to practice goal kicking. This is a good example of how pain/playing through injury affects performance. Last week he had his first full training session since off season groin/knee surgery.

Greg Eastwood

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 less than 95% effective, hope he can safely resume his NRL career.


Moses Suli

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.


Sione Mata’utia

Sione has been given the all clear by a neurological specialist to continue playing rugby league. Sione has suffered five known concussions in the past two years, hopefully his move to the centres this season will decrease the chance of adding to that number.

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Greg Inglis

According to coach Anthony Seibold, Greg Inglis is the strongest in the club with any “pushing” exercises, and top five for lower body exercises. Great measurable signs as he aims for a successful return from ACL reconstruction early last year


Lloyd Perrett

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; e.g. improved sweating/skin blood flow, decreased cardiovascular strain, improved fluid balance. These changes help improve aerobic performance in hot environments, decreased risk of heat related illness and decreased physiological strain.


As always if you have any questions, throw a comment down below or hit me up on Twitter @nrlphysio or Facebook.

The opinions given by the author of this article are given by a qualified physiotherapist, HOWEVER they are based on the information available to the author at the time of publication; are general; and are not based on any formal physical assessment and/or diagnosis by the author. If you believe you may be suffering from an injury similar to one commented on by the author, do not rely on the author’s advice as it may not apply to you – see a qualified physiotherapist for a full assessment, diagnosis and treatment plan.

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A Founder of NRLCEO. Jamie spends far more time on running the site than his own team and is therefore a perennial struggler, much the the delight of his mates. He is a former Bears, now Raiders tragic. A rangy lock who avoided running the ball at all costs, he once tackled (flopped on) John Hopoate. Web Geek by day, Web Geek by night.

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