Sonny Bill Williams out for 6 weeks

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SBW is starting to sound like he will never reach his full potential because of leg injuries. A shame for rugby league but good news for every club.

Sonny Bill Williams out for six weeks
Injury-prone Bulldogs forward Sonny Bill Williams has suffered another setback in his bid to get back on the field in the National Rugby League.

His club issued a short statement saying the 20-year-old Kiwi international will be sidelined for six weeks after scans revealed stress fractures in his foot.

Williams is still on the road to recovery from a serious knee injury suffered last year.

The NRL season starts in less than a month's time, with the first round on March 10-12.

This is on top of yesterday's article

Is Sonny Bill's career on its last legs?
February 12, 2006

BULLDOGS doctor Hugh Hazard has revealed that Sonny Bill Williams' knee might never return to its peak condition and could only be healed by revolutionary transplant surgery that would sideline him for 12 months.

But orthopaedic specialist Merv Cross has warned Williams not to consider the radical operation, insisting the strike second-rower can fulfil his potential on a modified training program.

Concerns for Williams' right knee have raged over the off-season, with initial reports suggesting the 20-year-old was fighting fit and ready to stamp his mark in 2006.

However, The Sunday Telegraph has learned that Williams is being troubled by his knee, raising concerns in the Bulldogs camp.

The best hope of restoring full strength in Williams' knee lies in ground-breaking surgery. But that carries a high risk and would sideline the Kiwi Test star for a year – a scenario the Bulldogs are desperate to avoid.

"The knee is not perfect – he's struggling a little bit," Hazard said.

"I'm confident his body can hold up but we're still a way off starting the season. We're building him up slowly and we have our fingers crossed that his body holds up.

"At this stage we're hoping to play him in one of the trials for a short period. He's only 20 and we're looking after him, trying not to overload him.

"His knee is nowhere near as bad as that of Shaun Timmins (the Dragons utility who barely trains) – but we hope that he'll be OK."

Williams, who has damage to the joint surface in his knee, refused to comment on the injury. The rampaging back-rower is on a restrictive program incorporating bike work and swimming which will continue for the rest of the season – and most likely the remainder of his career. He is expected to play in the season opener against Penrith on March 11, but the nature of the injury means he could be a week-to-week proposition.

By virtue of Williams' youth, Hazard is reluctant to consider surgery.

Under the procedure pioneered by a Swedish doctor, a portion of Williams' cartilage is removed and sent to a Melbourne laboratory. Cells are then injected into the damaged area in a bid to regenerate the cartilage, before it is re-attached to the knee. The operation is known as a Cartilage Hyaline Transfer, although Williams can ill-afford another year out of the NRL.

"We don't want him out for 12 months – he just sat out 12 months," Hazard said. "While the operation works in non-elite athletes, it's not proven in high-demand athletes who put pressure on the knee."

Cross said the operation was so hit-and-miss he refused to perform it.

"It's very rare," he said. "The operation could be a success but I don't know of anyone in Australia who has returned to pro sport after such an operation. I haven't seen any injury that has truly stopped a player from competing at a high level, so if the Bulldogs do the right thing by Sonny, I'm sure he'll fight back."

The Sunday Telegraph


Journey Man
we have king, they have SBW, maybe we should start betting on who will make the most metres

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