Off the field, into the classroom

Off the field, into the classroom

Injured Blues back rower Steven Luatua is entering stage two of his rehabilitation programme with Blues’ medical and strength and conditioning staff.

The team’s vice-captain dislocated his shoulder in round 14 of the 2015 Super Rugby season. Steven opted for shoulder reconstruction surgery in June, pulling himself out of a bid for the All Blacks’ 2015 Rugby World Cup squad.
According to team physio Mark Plummer, the surgery was successful and has allowed for a carefully monitored rehabilitation programme to begin.
“Post-surgery requires six months of rehab time, which we’re almost half way through now,” said Mark. “Steven’s hitting all the marks that we and the surgeon expect him to be hitting.”
He’s been able to return to strength training, using light weights and body weight to increase strength initially in his lower body, and now upper body.
Blues strength and conditioning head coach Jason Price said the focus is a slow and steady build up of functionality.
“The key for this stage is to slowly get his range of movement back to where it should be,” said Jason. This includes flexibility and adding weights as the range increases.
While the focus is on rehabilitation, Steven says there is plenty to keep him occupied outside of rugby.
He’s studying part-time towards a Bachelor of Sport Science from Unitec and has been helping out Auckland Rugby with their lineout work.
“You’ve got to take some positives out of it,” said Steven. “I can work on my own schedule and can tee up my training with Jason on my own time.”
“Plus, I’ve got six months to get a summer body,” he said with a laugh.
Blues pre-season will begin in the second half of November, a deadline that Steven and the medical staff see as reachable.
“He’ll be able to take full part in that aside from contact in the initial stages,” said Mark.