There had been speculation that former Wigan Warriors star and current St George Illawarra Dragons forward George Burgess wouldn’t play again in 2022.
That was because the hulking prop had signed himself into rehab two months ago in a bid to combat a gambling addiction that had been a concerning problem for himself and his family.
At the time, the Dragons released this statement: “St George Illawarra can confirm forward George Burgess was recently granted a leave of absence,” the statement read.
“Burgess’s absence is of a personal nature and unrelated to his current criminal matter.”
The rehab has clearly gone well as Burgess has returned to training with St George in a surprising move that few had thought would occur towards the back end of the season.
Fox Sports revealed photos of the former Bradford Bulls man in great shape on the training field as he clearly looks to try and get back into the full swing of training before a potential return to Anthony Griffin’s teamsheet in what would be one of the greatest turnarounds in 2022.
Burgess has been an eager gambler for a number of years but, according to the Daily Mail it was reported that it was during Burgess’s extended time on the sidelines in the UK that his gambling increased.
Sources close to the England international say he ‘got lost’ betting on horses and greyhounds and, in doing so, lost ‘hundreds of thousands’ of dollars.
Burgess was unfortunately hit hard by a troubling hip problem at his time at Wigan, cutting his time at the club to just eight appearances despite the 30-year-old making the move to the DW Stadium on a marquee contract.
On his return to Australia following invasive hip surgery, Burgess was given a much smaller wage, and, with lingering hip problems, has been through an extremely difficult time.
He will of course face a charge of ‘sexual touching’ at a hearing next year – something which the forward vehemently denies.