THE surgeon is happy with the outcome of Gareth Widdop's shoulder procedure.

England stand-off Widdop, who is set to join Warrington Wolves on a three-year deal from 2020, went under the knife yesterday after suffering a third shoulder dislocation in 12 months during St George Illawarra Dragons' victory over Brisbane Broncos in the Australian NRL competition on Thursday.

It was feared his season was over.

But yesterday the 30-year-old Halifax-born star had a piece of bone removed from another area of his body to strengthen the shoulder in the latest reconstruction.

Dragons performance staff feel confident he will play again this season.

"He had a procedure that's called a Latarjet shoulder reconstruction," said Dragons' head of athletic performance, Nathan Pickworth.

"The take a piece of bone from elsewhere in his body and they move it into his shoulder to make the socket deeper at the ball-and-socket joint.

"It's a really stable shoulder reconstruction that only has about a two percent failure rate.

"He's pulled up really well from that.

"I spoke to the surgeon late last night and the surgeon's really happy with how the procedure went.

"Typically, the recovery from one of these is about four to five months but at this stage I think it's a bit too early to give a specific return to play timeframe for Gareth.

"But I'm pretty optimistic that Gareth hasn't played his last game for the Dragons."


Pickworth explained why this particular surgery, with its low failure rate, was not called on for the previous reconstruction in the off-season.

"Typically, there's three types of shoulder reconstruction," he said.

"There's the Latarjet procedure, there's the open reconstruction and the keyhole reconstruction.

"For the procedure to go ahead, you have to meet certain criteria.

"Like any surgery, the Latarjet surgery isn't without potential complications and risk factors.

> How the story broke of Widdop's third disocation in 12 months

"Back in the off season, it was determined with the surgeon and specialist that he was most suitable for an open reconstruction.

"The open reconstruction still only has about a six percent failure rate so that's how the decision was made.

"Gareth was happy with the decision, I was happy and the club was too.

"That surgery went really well and just unfortunately the connective tissue wasn't quite strong enough to hold up for Gareth in that instance.

"After the scans and assessing the shoulder with specialists this week, he indicated for that Latarjet procedure and that's how the decision was made to go with that one this time."