Andrew McDonald has worked at South Sydney for 25 years, but his name has been thrust into the spotlight amid allegations surrounding Sam Burgess.
Andrew McDonald has worked at South Sydney for 25 years, but his name has been thrust into the spotlight amid allegations surrounding Sam Burgess.

‘Straight-faced’ doctor at centre of Burgess allegations

Sam Burgess described South Sydney doctor Andrew McDonald - who has been the club's medico for a quarter of a century - as a "straight-faced guy" who "doesn't show a lot of emotion".

In the wake of serious claims surrounding the South Sydney rugby league club and Burgess, McDonald is under investigation after The Australian newspaper obtained pharmacy records that allege he wrote a prescription in another person's name on behalf of Burgess.

He was also reportedly present during an outburst by Burgess at his home after a session of partying.

"I don't have any comment at this stage," McDonald said in response to questions submitted by The Australian.

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Sam Burgess after suffering a neck injury against the Dragons in 2016. Picture: Brett Costello
Sam Burgess after suffering a neck injury against the Dragons in 2016. Picture: Brett Costello

NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo on Friday said McDonald would be free to continue his role as team doctor for South Sydney's elimination final clash with Newcastle on Sunday.

McDonald has known Burgess since he joined the Rabbitohs in 2009 and has worked with the Englishman throughout his NRL career as he dealt with knee, neck, ankle and shoulder injuries.

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Burgess recently revealed McDonald had warned him he could lose an eye after playing on with a fractured cheekbone during the Rabbitohs' 2014 grand final win over Canterbury, an injury so severe it needed to be surgically repaired with four plates inserted into his face.

"The first person who saw me (in the sheds) was my doctor, Andrew McDonald," Burgess said in an X-Factor webinar earlier this year.

"Great guy, very straight-faced guy, doesn't show a lot of emotion.

"He stood with his straight face there at the entrance to the locker room and said, 'C'mon Sam, we'll go into the back room, I need to check your face.'

Burgess with his fractured cheekbone suffered in the 2014 grand final. Picture: Mark Evans
Burgess with his fractured cheekbone suffered in the 2014 grand final. Picture: Mark Evans

MORE BURGESS NEWS

 

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"I said, 'Andrew, with all due respect, I want to sit around the team, I need to feel what's going on, I want to listen to my coach talk. I'm going to play on and you're not going to tell me anything that's going to worry me here.'

"He said, 'Well I just need you to warn you that you could lose your eye if you take a collision to it. And don't blow your nose.'

McDonald has worked with the Rabbitohs since 1996. He also spent eight years as chief medical officer at A-League champions Sydney FC and worked as a medical officer at Qantas and Woolworths. He practices in Bondi Junction.

Originally published as 'Straight-faced' doctor at centre of Burgess allegations


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