England international George Burgess has left Wigan by mutual consent on medical grounds.
The 28-year-old prop still had two years of his three-year contract to run but he made only eight appearances in his debut season in Super League in 2020 due to a hip injury.
Wigan say that, with major surgery and the prospect of seven months of rehabilitation, Burgess has decided to focus on a return to normal physical health.
Warriors executive director Kris Radlinski said: “George requires hip surgery for his persistent hip problem which hampered him so badly in 2020.
“The specialist who will perform this very invasive surgery is overseas on service with the military until March.
“Following the operation, George will have to undergo a seven-month rehabilitation programme which rules him out of the entire 2021 season.
“In what has been a very challenging time, both physically and mentally for George, discussions commenced over the Christmas period to find an amicable solution.
“We commend George for his mature and honest approach – putting the considerations of the club at the forefront of his deliberations.
“We have a tremendous amount of respect for George and we would like to thank him for being a part of our club where he will always be welcome.”
📋 CLUB STATEMENT | George Burgess has left Wigan Warriors by mutual consent on medical grounds.
— Wigan Warriors 🍒⚪️ (@WiganWarriorsRL) February 3, 2021
Burgess, who spent 10 years with South Sydney Rabbitohs where he played with brothers Sam, Tom and Luke, says he is still hoping to play on once he has recovered from his operation.
He said: “I would firstly like to thank everyone involved with the Wigan Rugby League Club including all the staff, players and fans for welcoming me so warmly to the club when I arrived with my young family and for the continued support and patience in a season which was the most challenging of my career – physically and mentally – and saw me slip into some dark places throughout.
“After lots of thought, myself and the club have come to the mutual agreement that it is of the most importance that I get this life-changing hip resurfacing surgery, not only for the chance for me to play at my best again one day in the future but to have a better quality of life – mentally and physically – for my family also.
“In addition to this we have also come to the mutual agreement that it is best for all parties involved that we part ways now, giving the Wigan club the best possible chance to plan better for the future and myself the best possible chance of giving the hip the correct amount of time to fully recover.
“Although my time at Wigan did not pan out the way anyone would have wanted it to, I am extremely grateful for the friendships I have made in my time here and I know this club will have many successful years in the future.”