Anzac Test players 'at risk backing up' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Anzac Test players 'at risk backing up'

By Steve Jancetic 20/04/2005 06:19:42 PM Comments (0)

The 15 NRL players expected to back up for their clubs less than 24 hours after the Anzac Test risk turning minor niggles into major injuries for the sake of the sport's TV commitments.

Former Australian team doctor Nathan Gibbs, now working with the Sydney Swans, says it is a tough ask for players to back up the day after a representative match but the NRL and the clubs admit it is a necessary evil given the demands of television scheduling.

Fifteen players fronting for either Australia or New Zealand in Brisbane on Friday night will be required to back-up the following night for games in Sydney - including three Wests Tigers players and Parramatta's Nathan Hindmarsh who face a 5:30pm start at Parramatta Stadium.

Gibbs likened the experience to that which cyclists go through in the Tour de France, where cyclists are forced to back up day after day.

But he said rugby league players had the extra burden of the bumps and bruises that are associated with rugby league.

"Most minor injures take two or three days to settle down so you get in the situation where players will be playing with minor injures that can be certainly made worse if they're reinjured in the club game," Gibbs said.

"Seven days usually isn't enough to recover from injuries ... so one or two days the risk is definitely much, much worse.

"You're going to have a club doctor getting a player back from the night before ... who's got an injury which he might consider painkilling injections for.

"But (the doctor) probably won't be able to do the normal injury investigative scans and things of those nature.

"Painkillers can be dangerous but they can be less dangerous if you know the extent of the injury. There's going to be some risks taken, that's the bottom line."

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