Sharks enforcer Toby Rudolf has turned to a left-field medical specialist in an attempt to rehabilitate a troublesome toe injury that plagued his 2023 campaign.
Rudolf suffered a sprain between the big toe and foot, an injury commonly called ‘turf toe’, which kept him sidelined for three months and needed surgery.
He returned to the field in July but continued to battle pain, especially during running when the toe bends whilst pushing off to sprint.
Watch sport this summer live with no ad breaks in play on Kayo Sports. Join Kayo now and start streaming instantly >
Rudolf has reportedly been limited to just walking during pre-season and has been working with the head physiotherapist of the Australian Ballet in a bid to correct his injury.
“I’ve got turf toe but it’s the extreme end of it and my joint (at the base of my big toe) is just staying angry,” Rudolf said to AAP.
“I’ve been sent to see the head physiotherapist at the Australian Ballet … I’m not expecting magic hands but hopefully she can let us know where we’re going with our program and hopefully she says we’re on the right track.
“A couple of sessions where it’s 40 degrees Celsius, I don’t mind being on the sideline shouting, ‘Go on boys, you’ve got this’.
Get all the latest NRL news, highlights and analysis delivered straight to your inbox with Fox Sports Sportmail. Sign up now!!
MORE NRL NEWS
‘MONSTER’: Big title truth behind Sharks coup as Tigers great makes shock Luai call
‘BUILD TEAM AROUND HIM’: Cowboys legend backs Dearden for two key roles
‘HALFBACK HIS WAY’: How Luai can emulate Marshall in Tigers’ No.7 transition
FACING AXE: Dragons star’s deal gone, NRL deregistration looms over hammer attack
“But in all seriousness, that’s where you build your connection and trust as a team, going through the hurt locker is how you get closer, although it sounds weird I love going through that hardship.”
The Australian Ballet’s medical team are accustomed to toe injuries due to the pressure on the feet of the country’s best ballerinas.
Rudolf also revealed he’d given up drinking in a bid to be fit and firing come the season’s start, recently putting pen to paper on a two-year extension with the Sharks.
“I think I speak for most of the team when I say we need to go on a drinking ban,” he said.
“I’m going all in this year, no drinking. I told Fitzy on Mad Monday when I was full of liquid courage, but I stand by that and I told him that because I want to be held accountable.”
Source website: www.foxsports.com.au