Brad Fittler described Tom Trbojevic’s latest injury news as “awful” but hopes it will add further galvinise his NSW Blues’ squad heading into the upcoming Origin campaign.
An injury toll that already includes Latrell Mitchell (hamstring), Cameron Murray (shoulder), Dale Finucane (knee) and Victor Radley (ankle) reached new lows on Friday night with Trbojevic succumbing to a dislocated shoulder.
The Sea Eagles fullback fell awkwardly after a tussle in the in-goal area with Parramatta prop Makahesi Makatoa in a moment that further soured Manly’s 22-20 loss to Parramatta.
Fittler conceded after the match it appeared Trbojevic was highly unlikely to play in Game One on June 8th, which together with Mitchell means Fittler will be without his two first-choice centres for the series opener.
“(Trbojevic’s injury) is awful (news),” Fittler told AAP.
“He was starting to look good and he was coming up with some big plays. He’s had a tough couple of years.”
The Trbojevic news comes just days after it was revealed both Finucane and Radley were both due for extended sideline stints.
It will add even more intrigue to Fittler’s team for the series opener, which is due to be revealed at the end of next round when the Blues enter camp on the Sunday.
Trbojevic has already missed four weeks earlier this year with a knee issue, while his Magic Round performance against the Broncos was hampered by a corked thigh.
Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler conceded his fullback was in the midst of a run of bad luck but backed him to bounce back.
“We won’t be able to determine the extent of the damage until scans are done,” he said.
“He’ll be bitterly disappointed. He takes it very hard, he blames himself a lot.
“He is just having one of those runs at the moment, but he will bounce back.”