Rabbitohs coach Jason Demetriou explains Latrell Mitchell’s mid-season US trip to fix hamstring woes

South Sydney Rabbitohs superstar Latrell Mitchell will fly to Philadelphia this month, with the hopes of fixing his ongoing hamstring and knee issues.

The 24-year-old has been sidelined in recent weeks after suffering his second major hamstring injury in the past two years, after injuring the same leg towards the back-end of 2020.

Latrell has also undergone minor knee surgery to clean out a lingering issue, with the Rabbitohs star now set to miss at least the State of Origin series opener on June 8th – but it could potentially be longer.

Reports surfaced over the weekend that Latrell would be heading to the United States to visit a rehab specialist, and his coach Jason Demetriou confirmed the news on NRL 360 on Monday night.

“Yeah (he is going) for treatment on the hamstring and knee,” Demetriou said.

“It’s just intensive rehab – he will spend 10 days with one of the best rehab specialists in the world.

“He’s done a lot of work with the Premier League. Travis Touma, our head of high performance, said he is unreal. He has sent Blake Ferguson there in the past, so he has some experience with him.

“It just gets Latrell out of the bubble as well and he gets to focus on himself and come back.

“We will leave no stone unturned.”

Latrell is one of South Sydney’s most important players, excelling at fullback since joining the club two seasons ago.

But his injury and suspension woes have since become an issue, with the NSW and Australian representative missing for the past two finals series.

Demetriou said the aim of his trip to Philadelphia was to make sure the hamstring and knee issues he is dealing with don’t remain a factor later in his career, but also to give the Rabbitohs their own peace of mind. 

“I think it’s for all of us as,” he said.

“For him to go over there and get that experience and that rehab that he needs…but he’s only 24 and turning 25 this year.

“We want to make sure it’s not a career-defining problem, it’s a problem we have dealt with and get on the front-foot with and he’s able to play the rest of his career and well into his 30s.”

South Sydney have gone 4-4 inside the opening eight rounds of the year, but after a shaky start are beginning to find their rhythm in attack. 

Demetriou is hoping the side can continue to build despite Latrell’s absence and allow him to come back into a winning football side.

“We started slow, we were a bit clunky,” he said.

“I feel like we’re starting to get to where we are capable of getting. We lost two of those games by a point – one of those games in golden-point to Melbourne.

“Although we’re not sitting exactly where we want to, we are heading in the right direction.

“If we can get through this period and pick up some results and Latrell comes into a team that’s travelling well, he is only going to add to that.

“The main thing is to get Latrell back and firing on all cylinders.”

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