In response to articles and reports on November 2, 2017, in relation to Jack Bird’s surgery, the Sharks wish to make the following statement.
The comments made with regards to the Sharks sweeping a players injury under the carpet are misleading and false. These statements have insulted Sharks medical staff, the Club’s radiology provider and one of Australia’s leading shoulder surgeons in whom Jack consulted.
Jack was injured in Round 22 of the 2017 NRL season. As is the standard club process,
Sharks medical staff attended the surgical consultations with Jack. The surgeon concluded that there was no indication that surgery was required based on Jack’s clinical presentation and the radiology findings.
The Sharks made a collective decision that involved Jack, the surgeon and the Club’s medical staff, that surgery was not required and the injury would be allowed to heal naturally whilst Jack underwent a rehabilitation program.
Jack successfully completed his rehabilitation process and returned to play for the Club in the first week of the Final Series without any further injury to his shoulder.
Following the Sharks elimination from the Final Series, Jack underwent the standard Exit Medical Assessment with Sharks medical staff on September 14. This assessment did not give rise to any evidence that would change the Club’s management of Jack. Based on this assessment, if Jack was remaining at the Sharks for the 2018 season, he would not be having reconstructive surgery. The exit medical screening and shoulder scan results were sent to Brisbane Broncos medical staff on October 6.
Jack participated in the Prime Minister’s 13 in Papua New Guinea in the hope of making the Australian World Cup Squad on September 23. As Jack competed we assume that the Australian Medical Staff deemed Jack fit to play.
During Round 23 of the 2017 NRL season, the week after Jack initially injured his shoulder, the Cronulla Sharks played the Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium (Friday, August 11). When in Brisbane, Sharks medical staff discussed Jack’s scan findings, in person, with the Brisbane Broncos medical staff. They have been aware of the details of the injury since that time.
Suggestions that Jack Bird’s injury is similar to that sustained by Anthony Milford are incorrect. Jack did not dislocate his shoulder. The statement that the Brisbane Broncos have lost time with Jack as a direct result of the medical processes carried out by the Sharks has no basis in fact.
The Sharks view their duty of care to their players as their top priority. The players health, wellbeing and welfare are taken very seriously and any disparaging remarks will be vigorously defended.