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    Ulengo to seek Swiss specialist's help

    2018-01-30 14:06

    Brenden Nel - SuperSport

    Pretoria - Springbok wing Jamba Ulengo will be sent to a specialist in Switzerland as the Bulls look outside the box to try and cure a painful tendon injury.

    According to the supersport.com website, Ulengo picked up the injury during the Currie Cup season and last played for the Bulls against the Pumas on August 23 last year. He has been struggling ever since.

    On Monday, Bulls' team doctor, Herman Rossouw, confirmed that they would looking at a new approach since Ulengo wasn’t responding to the treatment he had been assigned.

    While it has been confirmed that he hasn’t got a patella tear, the Bulls now are looking for outside help in trying to get the Springbok back on the field. And as such, they are now trying to get him an urgent appointment with Swiss-based physician Professor Hakan Alfredson, who is considered one of the world’s leading experts in the area.

    Once the appointment is confirmed, Ulengo will head to Switzerland to seek help on the injury and the Bulls are hopeful he will be back in training sooner rather than later. The alternative seems to be a career-threatening diagnosis that nobody wants to hear.

    “He got cleared, he actually doesn’t have a tear. We’re identifying a tendon specialist overseas,” coach John Mitchell said.

    “We’re just hoping to get news on that within the week and then we’re hoping to send him to the specialist, which is good news because if we can get to this tendon specialist, there is every chance he will feature early.

    “Initially there were concerns for his career, I guess with that type of patella injury but we as a club value him and we’d like to make sure we exhaust all possibilities hence the reason in finding an overseas tendon specialist and surgeon which means if it goes to plan, positively, it could be a two-week job and we have Jamba back with us.”

    Dr Alfredson has previously worked with a number of sportsmen, including Brumbies captain Stephen Hoiles and former Spurs and Liverpool footballer Robbie Keane.

    His website describes him as such: “Prof. Hakan Alfredson is regarded as one of the top orthopaedic consultants and specialists in the world regarding painful tendon conditions. With over 120 published scientific articles, and development of new mini invasive treatment methods based on 20 years of research, his treatment methods are considered cutting edge within the medical field.”

    Hoiles was overjoyed with the help he received from Prof Alfredson in 2014 and told AAP at the time that Alfredson was "if not the best, then one of the best tendon surgeons in the world".

    "He just deals with chronic cases or people who are a little bit left of centre."

    After two unsuccessful six-month rehab programmes at the AIS, Hoiles emailed Alfredson.

    "I was either going to go over there and he'd tell me that it's unrepairable and that I'm done, or he'd be able to fix it," Hoiles said.

    "So either way, it was going to be closure. If it was no good, I could accept that. I'd have given it every shot."

    Alfredson asked Hoiles to run up and down on the spot to aggravate the injury before an ultrasound identified a loose bone fragment in his foot.

    "Then he split me down the back of my heel, opened me up and cleaned it up while I was awake," Hoiles said.

    "It was probably a two-hour operation but, after pretty much two-and-a-half, three years of utter frustration because of it, it's all sorted now."

    Hoiles completed 10 weeks of intense off-season training with the Waratahs without needing Achilles treatment even once and continued his career playing for the Sydney side 32 times after the injury before retiring.

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