Teammates are refusing to rule out Sam Burgess making himself available to play in this week’s Good Friday clash against Canterbury after being cleared of serious damage to his neck.
Scans on Monday showed no damage to Burgess’ vertebrae or spinal cord after the South Sydney star was stretchered off in the second half of his side’s 8-6 defeat to St George Illawarra on Sunday.
The five-day turnaround means the dual international is unlikely to take on the Bulldogs in the holiday blockbuster, but playmaker Luke Keary said he wouldn’t assume Burgess was an automatic scratching.
“Obviously I’m not sure what he’s gone through over the last 24 hours, but I definitely wouldn’t be ruling him out just yet,” Keary said on Monday.
“He’ll get out of hospital the next couple of days and do all the tests, see if he’s okay. If he’s not there, we’ll miss him. But we’ve got a few young blokes there that will step up.”
Skipper Greg Inglis spoke to Burgess early on Monday morning, and revealed the Englishman was in good spirits despite some complaints about his accommodation.
“He’s up and around, upbeat, which is all good to hear,” he said.
“I’m pretty sure they’ll keep him in hospital the next few days and make sure he’s flying to come out. It was a bit scary to start with, but he’s in the best hands possible.”
“He said hospital beds weren’t the best to sleep on and he’s six inches over.”
Inglis admitted he found it difficult to concentrate on the task of beating the Dragons following the Burgess injury.
“It wasn’t a great feeling, to be honest. Seeing any player go down like that and laying there motionless, it was pretty hard, “He said.
“But we had to put that aside. I knew Sammy was in the best capable hands.”
A club statement said the 27-year-old would continue to be monitored for any muscle or neurological issues, and was expecting him to be released later on Monday, or Tuesday.
“We’re all very happy to know that Sam hasn’t suffered any serious injuries from yesterday’s game,” Souths coach Michael Maguire said.
“We will continue to monitor Sam’s welfare and he knows he is in the best of hands with our medical staff as we move forward.”