South Sydney star Angus Crichton has had a finger amputated to ensure he’s ready for the 2018 NRL season.
Crichton’s manager David Rawlings confirmed the back-rower had the middle finger on his left hand amputated.
On Tuesday Crichton said he had signed a three-year deal to join the Sydney Roosters from 2019.
The 21-year-old had been told he needed more surgery on the digit, which would result in a three-month layoff.
Instead of surgery, Crichton opted for amputation after being troubled constantly in recent years by the finger.
“My finger has been an ongoing injury I’ve had since I was playing in the under-20s,” Crichton told the PlayersVoice website this month.
“… A while back, I got it fused. I’ve got no knuckle in it.
“The doctor said I could either cut it off halfway or fuse it. I’ve had it fused several times now because I keep breaking it.
“I can’t bend the finger, so it’s like I’m constantly giving people the bird. If I clench my fist, my middle finger sticks out.”
After his fourth fusion surgery, Crichton pledged it would be the last such operation.
“I’m going to have it cut it in half because I’m just over it,” he said.
Crichton joins others prominent sportspeople, including former AFL players Daniel Chick and Brett Backwell in amputating a finger to continue their careers.
Chick had his left ring finger amputated in 2002 after frequent dislocations and, four years later, won a premiership with West Coast.
Backwell played AFL at Carlton and, after returning to South Australia’s state league, had his left ring finger amputated in 2005 – a year later, he won the SA state’s league Magarey Medal for best and fairest in the competition.