Reconditioning specialist Bill Knowles joins the full-back debate over Manly Sea Eagles star Tom Trbojevic

More recently, Knowles has become the go-to man for fixing broken NRL stars. After just two weeks with Knowles midway through last year, Latrell Mitchell is back to his devastating best and no longer seems hampered by his own ongoing hamstring trouble.

It is for this reason that Storm have sent Ryan Papenhuyzen to Knowles to help him recover from a fractured kneecap and it is also why Trbojevic’s immediate future is tied to the renowned rehabilitation specialist.

Some pundits have questioned whether Trbojevic would be better served if he switched to center where the physical demands on his hamstrings are likely to be less taxing. There have even been suggestions that the Sea Eagles might want to part ways with the 2021 Dally M medalist altogether should he collapse again.

While Knowles stressed there are never guarantees, Trbojevic’s diligence in implementing his unique rehab-prehab program gave the 26-year-old the best chance of avoiding further setbacks.

“I absolutely believe that,” Knowles said. “I can go to the other room and get the crystal ball if you want. The point is that we often think of these injuries as an SMC program – something has to change.

“The change doesn’t have to be huge, it just has to be purposeful and purposeful. If we do that, I would say from experience that all of these guys have a good chance of changing their movement strategy and quality and increasing their power to help in-season sustainability. That is the goal.

“If they do that, they all have a great chance to come back. There are many other athletes who are worse off and have come back.

Latrell Mitchell was in the US last year doing overhaul work with Bill Knowles.

Latrell Mitchell was in the US last year doing overhaul work with Bill Knowles.Credit:Instagram

“[Former Sydney Swans and Geelong Cats client] Danny Menzel had four ACLs, four surgeries and still played in the AFL for six or seven more years.

“You can’t prevent anything, it’s not absolute, it’s not 100 percent, but you mitigate the risks as much as possible. The human body and mind is just amazing. You can carry on like this.”

Trbojevic, Mitchell and Papenhuyzen are among the biggest stars in the NRL. They all play the same position but bring very different skills and physical attributes to the role. Knowles has worked with the trio and believes they could make it in the NFL if they grew up with the sport.

“If you look at these three guys, they have speed, directional changes and deceleration skills that are elite in their league,” Knowles said.

“…You all have a great chance of coming back.”

Rebuild Specialist Bill Knowles on his work with NRL customers.

“They have game sense and hands. So if you were theoretically comparing that to the NFL at different positions, they certainly could have done that. But they should have played these games from a skill and strategy perspective at a young age of 14 or 15.

“Do you have the attributes? There is no question. Which positions? They’re either a receiver – because our guys are all fast – so Tommy Turbo is big like a tight end would be.


“Latrell is kind of like that, they’re tight end guys, they can use their hands and catch and have pace.

“And Ryan is just incredibly fast. He could be a defenseman in the NFL. He’s not as tall as the other two boys, but he’s tall. They are just different bodies.”

Just two weeks ago, Knowles cheered on another client, tennis veteran Andy Murray, who underwent a revolutionary hip resurfacing procedure that allowed him to win an epic Australian Open duel with Thanasi Kokkinakis.

Now he’s grateful to be the first line of defense for injured NRL players.

“Having the opportunity to do what I’ve been doing for 33 years, having the chance to pass my experience on to top athletes, that’s what makes me so excited to do what I’m doing,” he said.

“To do that with a couple of NRL players in the last six months, that’s fantastic. They have great support systems before they come to me and after they leave. The visiting physios are the ones who finish the job, they must be given credit for that. I’m part of the journey, part of the puzzle.”

Sports news, scores and expert commentary. Sign up for our sports newsletter. Reconditioning specialist Bill Knowles joins the full-back debate over Manly Sea Eagles star Tom Trbojevic

Ryan Sederquist

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