Cronk must balance rest and recovery. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)
Cronk must balance rest and recovery. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)

The science behind Cronk recovery

AN associate professor of exercise and sports science at Gold Coast's Bond University has outlined the immense rehab program Cooper Cronk will undertake this week to play in Sunday's grand final.

Dr Justin Keogh said Cronk would endure a robust and tough seven days to have any chance of contesting the decider.

"Cronk will be doing a lot of manual therapy, stretching, resistance work to help those muscle fibres realign," Keogh said. "The challenge is how much massage, stretching and resistance training you can give someone, while giving them time to recover.

"If you do too much, you'll actually be worse off than you were before, you can do more damage if you are not careful.

"Often an athlete will do rehab in normal sleeping times, so he might forgo some sleep to get extra sessions in, but obviously sleep is a great part of the recovery process, so it is a bit unknown if that is a positive thing to do.

"These injuries are quite unique. They'll be making clinical decisions on the fly based on the feedback he's giving them. The program to get him to recover will be very minute and could change every hour.

 

The Roosters are taking no chances. (Brett Costello)
The Roosters are taking no chances. (Brett Costello)

 

"If they were to write up a paper on what they did this week to try and aid Cooper, it would be really interesting reading for the sport medicine community. It will be of major interest at a sport medical conference and to a lot of health professionals."

Keogh stressed Cronk may also opt to use a hyperbaric chamber.

"The evidence base for hyperbaric chambers isn't overly strong, but if there is even a one per cent improvement per session, they'll definitely take that," he said.

 

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