Aitken takes recovery to extreme on break

High hopes: Euan Aitken hopes an off-season epidural can help control hamstring issues that hampered his 2017 season.
High hopes: Euan Aitken hopes an off-season epidural can help control hamstring issues that hampered his 2017 season.

Dragons centre Euan Aitken has undergone some drastic measures to prevent his hamstring issues in the off-season. 

On top of a shoulder re-construction, the former Merimbula-Pambula junior underwent an epidural in the hopes of mending his ongoing issues with his hamstring. 

"Hopefully I'll be in full training by January. The hammy issues, I got an epidural [in late November], it's a work in progress, I don't know whether it's going to work for me or not but over the next couple of weeks we'll see how that progresses as well,” he told

He was doing some light training runs in December and has been looking to build back to his form from early in 2017. 

The spinal injection is commonplace among women giving birth, but NRL officials said it also more frequently being given to athletes with hamstring problems. 

"It's a lot to do with the neural system and how it affects the hamstring," Aitken said.

"If your back's tight and it's inflamed it can send spasms to your hamstring so your muscles tighten up around it.

"It's a bit of a complicated process, that's as much as I know about it but there's a lot of track records that show improvements in reoccurrence of hamstring injuries so I'm hoping that works for me. 

Aitken, who has represented Scotland on the international stage once before was named for the World Cup squad, but was sidelined due to his hamstring concerns and said it was a disappointment. 

"A lot of players from Scotland had to miss out on the World Cup for personal reasons or injury," Aitken told

"It felt like if we did get our full side out there we probably could have done a lot better. We nearly came away with a win [against Samoa], we nearly made the quarter-finals but I feel like if our better side was there we would have been more of a challenge to the top nations.

Aitken said he was now working on rebuilding strength in his reconstructed shoulder and setting plays for the new season. 

"I want to work on my defence more and let the attack come as well, there's a lot of improvements to be made at the Dragons and we've got the systems in place to make the improvements,” he said. 

The Pambula export also also welcomed the Dragons signing James Graham and Ben Hunt. 

“That will add to the side and make the side better. I think it's going to be big things for the Dragons come 2018,” he told the website. 

Since joining the Dragons the young centre has been hailed for his work ethic and is tracking well to make a round one start on the 2018 season.