George Burgess reveals toll of career-threatening hip injury ahead of life-changing surgery
WRITTEN BY ED CHISHOLM
George Burgess has shed light on the chronic hip pain that has the English international’s rugby league career on hold as he prepares for life-changing surgery.
The former Rabbitohs premiership forward announced earlier this month he’d cut ties with Wigan after just eight appearances for the club since joining them at the start of last year from South Sydney.
It comes as Burgess, 28, prepares to go under the knife to repair a chronic hip injury that has plagued him throughout much of his professional career.
Speaking to SEN , Burgess, who revealed he’s also currently recovering from COVID-19 over in the UK, opened up on his tough decision to press pause on his career.
“I’ve had it my whole time at Souths. It was just managed in different ways, but it got worse over the years,” Burgess said.
"I thought going to Wigan I could get it right and give it a good chance but it hasn’t been great.
"Last year when we went into that first lockdown it started to deteriorate with me not doing my normal training.
“It’s one of those hard decisions you make in life, but I know it was the right one in the end.”
Burgess will undergo hip resurfacing surgery and return to Australia to continue his rehabilitation.
He says he hasn’t lost hope of reigniting his football career, but only if he can get his body in the shape it was when the Englishman was at his best for the Rabbitohs.
“It’s usually a seven to eight month recovery,” he added.
"But I just want to give myself a good amount of time to recover and I’m not going to do that staying at Wigan.
"I’m going to come back to Australia and continue my rehab and if it’s feeling good and feeling like it was in 2014 then I’ll give it another crack.
“I want to go into a club giving the best of my ability and give it a red hot crack. Anything less than that and I won’t be playing (again).”
Inspiring him along the way has been former English and Irish Lions player Sean O’Brien, who after undergoing the same operation has returned to the field with London Irish.
“He’s 35 years old but I spoke to him at length about it on the phone and he’s back playing now, which is promising for me,” Burgess said.
"He gave it a good amount of time (to recover) but he said it was the best thing he did, he wished he did it earlier in his career.
“That was really promising to speak to him about that. Hopefully, I can be in contact with him throughout my rehab and he can help me along the way.”