Cody Ramsey ruled out for season, St George Illawarra Dragons, ulcerative colitis illness

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The Dragons will be without fullback Cody Ramsey for at least the 2023 season after the club rules him out for a year while he recovers from ulcerative colitis.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Ramsey has been told he cannot play rugby league for the next 12 months, which will rule him out until the 2024 pre-season at the earliest.

Dragons officials told the Herald on Wednesday that Ramsey would not be available to play in 2023, but the club is hopeful the 22-year-old will return to rugby league in the future.

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Ramsey, who has scored 14 tries in 36 games since his debut in 2020, was tipped to be the Dragons’ starting fullback in 2023, before illness hit.

The young gun has undergone several surgeries in recent months and will receive further treatment over the next 12 months as he attempts to return to the sport.

The disease is often caused by a malfunction in the immune system, causing inflammation and ulcers in the intestines and digestive tract.

Ramsey first experienced symptoms during a 10-kilometer run during the preseason and was taken to hospital, where he remained for several weeks, before being diagnosed with the condition.

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Dragon star Cody Ramsey trains before he gets sick. Photo: DragonsSource: Supplied

Ramsey faces a long road to return to first grade, but wants to be with his teammates during his recovery.

“Our focus will be on Cody’s medical rehabilitation and well-being in the first phase,” a club spokesperson told the Herald.

“From there we will work on what the future holds for him. He has been training with the players and coaches lately and has been a hugely positive influence on all of us at the club.

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Cody Ramsey of the Dragons is assisted from the field after injuring his knee last year.Source: Getty Images

“Cody is a great character, one of the most passionate, popular and respected members of our club and will be a major influence on the success of the team in the upcoming season.”

Under NRL rules, the club is only eligible for salary cap dispensation, either through medical retirement or through the representative injury dispensation.

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Ramsey is not eligible for either, but the club is hesitant to shatter his dreams of returning to the NRL by medically retiring him at this stage.

Tyrell Sloan is now a leading candidate for the fullback jersey for Round 1, with Moses Mbye another option for coach Anthony Griffin.

The Dragons confirmed in a statement that Ramsey would miss the 2023 season.

“The Dragons would like to provide the next update on fullback Cody Ramsey,” the club said in a statement.

“Cody was diagnosed in late 2022 with ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease, which required an extended hospital stay,” said Dragons General Manager of Football Ben Haran.

“Unfortunately, this ultimately required major intestinal surgery. This surgery was successful, but multiple follow-up procedures will be needed in the upcoming season.

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“This means Cody will not be available to play NRL in the 2023 season.

“Our focus in the first phase will be on Cody’s medical rehabilitation and well-being.

“From there we will work on what the future looks like for him.

“He has been training with the players and coaches lately and has been a hugely positive influence on all of us at the club.

“Cody is a great character, one of the most passionate, popular and respected members of our club and will be a major influence on the success of the team in the upcoming season.”

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