Sam Burgess will play in the NRL again after overcoming a serious spinal scare, but his recovery plan is yet to be mapped out.
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 at the SCG on Sunday.
Burgess was taken to nearby St Vincent’s Hospital immediately after the incident. He remains under observation but is expected to be released in the coming days.
“Mr Burgess is expected to make a full recovery,” St Vincent’s spokesman David Faktor said.
“He is in good spirits and he will be discharged in the coming days.”
Neither the hospital nor South Sydney have indicated when Burgess will be ready to return to football. However the dual international won’t play in the Rabbitohs traditional Good Friday match with Canterbury.
Skipper Greg Inglis spoke to Burgess early on Monday morning.
“He’s up and around, upbeat, which is all good to hear,” Inglis said.
“It was a bit scary to start with, but he’s in the best hands possible.”
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.”