The 'inspirational' player giving George Burgess hope he may play again

George Burgess has been given fresh hope he may be able to relaunch his playing career.
George Burgess parted ways with Wigan earlier this monthGeorge Burgess parted ways with Wigan earlier this month
George Burgess parted ways with Wigan earlier this month

He has been inspired following chats with a former British and Irish Lions player, who has made a successful comeback from a similar injury.

The prop parted ways from Wigan earlier this month - with two years left to run on his marquee deal - after being told he needed surgery on a hip problem which plagued his debut campaign with the club.

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Burgess, who is currently self-isolating after contracting Covid-19, needs a hip resurfacing operation.

It is rare for someone so young to need the procedure, let alone an athlete, and the ex-England international has admitted he is unsure whether he will play again.

But he has been inspired by London Irish player Sean O'Brien, 34, who returned to action after seeing the same surgeon who will operate on Burgess.

"I spoke to him at length on the phone and he's back playing now," said Burgess. "He said it's the best thing he ever did, he wished he did it earlier in his career so that was really promising.

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"Hopefully I'll be in contact in my rehab and he can help me out along he way.

"He's getting back to his best so he's a good inspiration for me and something I'll be striving towards."

Burgess was talking to commentator Andrew Voss on his breakfast radio show, and revealed he will only attempt a return to playing if he can get fit and firing.

"If I feel like I did in 2014 or '15 I'll give it another crack, but anything less than that I won't be going playing," said Burgess, a 2014 NRL Grand Final winner with Michael Maguire's Souths.

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"I had the (hip) problem my whole time at Souths and it gradually got worse. Going to Wigan, I thought I could get it right but it's just not been great and when we went into the first lockdown last year it started to deteriorate."

Burgess revealed he was left suffering with a shortness of breath and flu symptoms after being struck down by Covid-19. Wigan's Robin Park HQ was recently closed down for more than a week after an outbreak of the virus.

"It's not something you want to get," he added.

Meanwhile, he is looking forward to the release of a movie, Ascendant, in which he has a "small part". It's his third film role which was shot a few weeks before he moved to Wigan at the end of 2019.