Burgess faces surgery on cheekbone

October 06, 2014
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South Sydney Rabbitohs hero Sam Burgess was on Monday expected to undergo surgery on his fractured cheekbone and faces six to eight weeks on the sidelines.

The 25-year-old former Bradford Bulls star sustained the injury in an accidental clash with the head of prop rival James Graham on the first tackle of the Grand Final on Sunday in front of a record crowd of 83,833 at the ANZ Stadium.

The Dewsbury-born enforcer played through the pain and became the first non-Australian to be awarded the Clive Churchill Medal as man of the match in a 30-6 win over Canterbury Bulldogs as South Sydney claimed their first Australian Premiership for 43 years.

The news means Burgess is unlikely to begin training with his new rugby union club Bath until well into November.

He told reporters after the game: "It feels like I cracked my eyeball in the first tack. I just played on adrenalin, my team-mates talked me through it.

"I'm pretty sure I'm going to be sore but I would do it again, I'm just thankful to be in this position."

It also follows a denial from Canterbury prop Tim Browne that he deliberately tried to charge the injured Burgess with his head during the bruising encounter.

"No, not at all," said Browne, when asked whether he was targeting Burgess's injury.

"I was probably just testing out the metal plates I have in my forehead and see if they worked.

"But it was nothing like that.

"It would have been soft anyway with the headgear."

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