If South Sydney is to go on a giant-killing run for the rest of the season, they may well look back on the small investment they made to send Latrell Mitchell to the United States earlier in the year.
The 25-year-old was sent to the US earlier in the year after his second major hamstring injury left the Rabbitohs looking for answers.
It led Mitchell to the US, where he would work with world-renowned reconditioning specialist Bill Knowles.
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While initial reports said the trip would cost an estimated $70,000, the Sydney Morning Herald has detailed the Rabbitohs got away with spending as little as $12,000 for the trip.
Although the entire trip for Mitchell, as well as physio Luke Annesley and videographer Sunny Brar, cost $57,000, the Bunnies got away with only spending $12K after one of their main sponsors, Ingenia Holiday Parks, threw in $45K to support the superstar’s rehabilitation.
What’s more, the trip wasn’t included in their football department cap because they were cleared by the NRL as “medical expenses”, according to the Herald.
Not only have Rabbitohs seen the benefit of a fully-fit, rejuvenated Mitchell on the field, but the two-part documentary titled Pushing Boundaries has had more than one million views across their social media platforms. As such, the video is the most-watched content at the club since Sam Burgess’ photo story following his wedding.
Mitchell’s spectacular form has seen the Rabbitohs rediscover their mojo, with the club climbing to seventh of the NRL standings after winning three straight matches to start July.
And after Ryan Papenhuyzen’s sickening knee-injury, Souths could well extend their winning run against the Storm on Saturday night.
Asked to compare Mitchell’s form to that of Jarryd Hayne’s in 2009, Souths coach Jason Demetriou said, “ask me in three weeks”.
“Latrell is in a great place, but we’ll know more at the back end of the year – it wasn’t just about getting back and playing footy, it was about staying healthy this year and the years beyond,” Demetriou told the Herald.
“I still think there’s more in him, he’ll get better each week, and over the next month we’ll see the best of him.
“He’s a presence. He’s the kind of guy who says, ‘come with me’, and people follow him. Having guys like Damien Cook and Cam [Murray] back this week [after an Origin break] will be a massive help because they do that as well.”