July 23, 2024

Dogs prodigy’s career-saving neck surgery a success as $500k young gun eyes NRL return

Karl Oloapu, a young player for the Bulldogs, has spoken for the first time since having a risky spinal surgery that could have ended his brief career.

For most of the 2023 season, the 18-year-old played through the discomfort of a bulging disk, and there were worries that the injury would prevent him from playing again.

But on Tuesday of last week, Oloapu had surgery at St. Vincent’s Private in Sydney, where he was successfully operated by Dr. Mark Winder, a renowned neurosurgeon in Australia.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Winder operated similarly on a number of athletes, including Anthony Minichiello, the winning fullback.

Minichello reportedly arranged for the young surgeon to meet with Winder, demonstrating his strong interest in supporting Oloapu during his surgical procedure.

The representative fullback and former Roosters player had his own spinal injuries extensively reported, giving Oloapu “so much hope.”

Oloapu remarked, “Hearing something so encouraging from someone who has experienced what I’m going through right now was so good.”

“I wanted to hear about Mini’s journey back to the field, his struggles, and his determination to disprove others,” the speaker said.

The young shooter will now start his rehabilitation, which is expected to take six to nine months.

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