South Sydney star Angus Crichton has had his finger amputated to ensure he is ready for the 2018 NRL season.
Crichton, who earlier this week confirmed he had signed a three-year deal to join the Sydney Roosters from 2019, had the middle finger of his left hand removed after persistent injuries.
The 21-year-old had been told he needed more surgery on the digit, which would mean a three-month lay-off.
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 earlier 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 won a premiership with West Coast four years later.
Backwell played AFL with 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.