Sam Burgess to wait for his Bath debut after scan shows he played full NRL Grand Final with a broken eye socket as well as cheekbone

Burgess is due to switch codes to rugby union but will have to wait as he recovers from his injuries

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The Independent Online

Bath-bound Sam Burgess played throughout Sunday's NRL Grand Final with a fractured eye socket as well as a damaged cheekbone, it has emerged.

The 25-year-old former Bradford Bulls forward was hurt in a head clash with his England team-mate James Graham in the first tackle of the title decider between South Sydney and Canterbury Bulldogs at Sydney's ANZ Stadium.

Burgess stayed on the pitch for the full 80 minutes and went on to produce a man-of-the-match performance to help the Rabbitohs to a first Grand-Final victory for 43 years.

On Tuesday, the scale of his heroics took on a new dimension when scans revealed the full extent of the damage.

A statement from South Sydney said: "Scans this morning have confirmed that Rabbitohs lock Sam Burgess requires surgery to repair fractures in his cheekbone and eye socket.

"Burgess will have surgery this afternoon to have a plate inserted into his face to repair the damage.

"The Rabbitohs will have a further update following the completion of the surgery."

"Just laying in hospital waiting for surgery," Burgess wrote on his Twitter account. "I look similar to a hamster at the moment.

Sam-Burgess.jpg
Burgess has been one of the leading players in the NRL

"I wouldn't change anything for the world though.

"Thanks to everyone for your well wishes and congratulations. It's been an amazing journey this year with a fitting end. Wow."

Burgess' recovery is expected to take at least two months, which could prevent him making his rugby union debut until 2015 and casts doubt over his potential participation in the World Cup next autumn.

In February he signed a three-year contract with Bath, who are thought to have paid £500,000 to secure his release from the two years remaining on his deal with Souths.

"It will be a while, but that is the least of my worries right now," Burgess told 2KY's Big Sports Breakfast on Tuesday.

"Hopefully this face won't be damaged for too long. I have to get it fixed and then crack on."

Burgess' heroics have drawn comparisons with those of Souths' legend John Sattler, who played 77 minutes of the 1970 Grand-Final win over Manly with a broken jaw.

Sydney Roosters centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall also played 65 minutes with a broken jaw in his club's win over Manly in the 2013 decider.

PA

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