Bukuya hospitalised as Sharks face back- row crisis and Raiders
JAYSON Bukuya is in hospital on a drip with health issues related to a rare problem in which his immune system suffers because he has extremely low body fat.
The Cronulla backrower, who is listed as 95kg, will miss today’s clash with the Raiders in Canberra after being read- mitted to hospital this week. Bukuya, 29, has lost up to 5kg since being admitted because he can’t stomach food.
It is a compound problem because Bukuya struggles to add weight that would help him fight off illness.
“He hasn’t been able to keep anything down,” Sharks coach Shane Flanagan told The Sunday Telegraph. “He’s got a real- ly bad virus that has affected his gut and inflamed his intestines. He was a bit concerned it was more than that but all the tests and blood tests have come back perfect.
“Hopefully he improves over the weekend, he’s staying in hospital and they’ll try to get some good food into him.
“He actually came back to training for a day or two and had a relapse, felt crook again, so we will make sure we don’t rush anything.”
Bukuya, who has played 153 NRL games and represented Fiji at last year’s World Cup, is said to have less than 10 per cent body fat.
His virus has been so severe that Bukuya will have to be able to eat solids before he can resume any kind of training.
Low body fat weakens the immune system, and it is common for bodybuilders to get sick easily just before competition when they get down as low as 4 per cent body fat.
Bukuya missed last week’s match against the Eels but had hoped to return this week.
With Wade Graham, Luke Lewis, Paul Gallen and Scott Sorenson also sidelined with injury, the Sharks are in the middle of a backrow crisis heading to the nation’s capital.
Although Paul Gallen is unlikely to play, Raiders coach Ricky Stuart believes he will take the field.
“We’re planning that he’s playing,” Stuart said.
Meanwhile, Raiders prop Junior Paulo faces up to 10 weeks out with a foot injury.