The man will try just about anything to stop his persistent knee problems, and a treatment used by golfing legend Tiger Woods and tennis star Rafael Nadal, is the next option for Souths prop Sam Burgess – as he turns to platelet rich plasma injections, to curb his persistent knee problems.
The procedure is deemed as a radical one, with blood being taken from the patient, before it it spun at a very high speed to separate the plasma, before it is re-injected into the body into the damaged joint or soft tissue, in order to assist with the overall healing process.
The treatment will be a welcome relief for Burgess, who has only played a possible 36 games out of 63, in his three seasons with the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
With Burgess keen to shed his injury-prone tag, it was on the recommendation of South Sydney High Performance Manager Troy Thompson, that saw Burgess consider the PRP injections.
“They take the plasma from your blood and inject it into the injured part of your body to try and help speed up recovery,” Burgess said of his PRP treatment.
“We’ve done everything we can, every sort of avenue we thought might help improve things. I’ve taken different vitamins, oils, I’ve tried sleeping in all these different positions. I even ended up buying this machine called a game-ready machine. It’s one of the best ice compression machines available, so I’ve got one of them at home now which has been fantastic.
“It’s been a challenging process. A lot of it comes down to your confidence.
“Hopefully I’ve seen the back end of that sort of stuff and I can stay out there for a while now.”
Thompson, who first came across the treatment during his time at the Melbourne Storm – found that a lot of AFL clubs were trialling the treatment.
“We’re always trying to push the boundaries in terms of getting our players back because every game’s so important,” Thomson said.
“I know they have been doing it for quite a while down in Melbourne with the AFL players.
“That was where I was first exposed to it.
“The big one with the PRP was Sam’s medial. They’re normally a six to eight-week injury, but we were fortunate enough to get him back in four-and-a-half weeks.
“He had three repeated PRP injections there and that really helped his recovery in terms of being able to get back nice and quickly.
“We tried a little bit with the arthroscope as well, but we didn’t have as much success as we did with the medial.
“Hopefully that’s all been cleaned up now and we won’t have any more problems.”