Jake Trbojevic's 'sad' admission about brother ahead of NRL season

With Tom Trbojevic facing another injury-affected NRL campaign, Jake Trbojevic is feeling his pain.

Jake Trbojevic and brother Tom Trbojevic are pictured together after a Manly Sea Eagles match.
Jake Trbojevic is 'disappointed' that his brother Tom is facing yet another injury-affected NRL campaign for Manly. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

For a Manly Sea Eagles squad determined to bounce back from a calamitous 2022 season, the last thing they needed was Tom Trbojevic's hamstring injury at pre-season training recently. Few could understand the superstar's frustration better than older brother Jake, who admitted to a sadness surrounding the situation.

With his younger brother having travelled to America soon after injuring his hamstring in early December in a bid to recover in time for the NRL season, Jake said it was 'disappointing' that his brother was once again fighting injury.

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While the Sea Eagles' season was derailed in part due to the furore surrounding their handling of a planned pride round, Trbojevic's absence due to a shoulder injury was also a significant factor. Another promising campaign last year was thwarted by a shoulder injury.

Jake, perhaps Tom's biggest champion off the field, said he was frustrated on the behalf of his brother with Manly poised to bring a new look under incoming coach Anthony Seibold. Both he and the club were left to rue yet another setback for the star fullback.

“It is just so disappointing because he is my brother and I want him to do well,” he told Fox Sports. “I want our club to do well and we need him, so it is disappointing.

“But he is doing really well. It is obviously sad because he works really hard and people doubt him. He works so hard. No one outside the club sees how hard he works. I’m really proud of what he does.

“He has gone over to America and worked really hard, so fingers crossed he deserves a break. He’s back on Monday and he said he has been loving it and it has been great for him. He has worked on lots of new approaches to training that will hopefully put him in the best mindset and his body in the best shape to go out and perform well.”

Tom Trbojevic injury prompts drastic measures from Manly

The oft-injured star's future with Manly was brought into question by club great Peter Peters earlier in January, who suggested such drastic action as letting him walk away. Such an exit would be devastating to Manly, whose fortunes have frequently depended on Trbojevic's health.

"He may have to take an early retirement if it keeps going. He’s played (121) games and he made his debut back in 2015. It’s just not enough games," Peters said.

"He’s a superstar but it’s like having a Lamborghini full of petrol in the garage, but you can’t drive it because, mechanically, it’s not sound. It’s a huge make-or-break for Turbo’s career in the NRL. He's 26, he’s got so many good years in front of him, if he’s fit."

Tom Trbojevic sports his arm in a sling.
Tom Trbojevic's 2022 NRL season was cut short by a shoulder injury. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

The 26-year-old - restricted to 44 games in the past four seasons - travelled to Philadelphia with the target of rewiring the way he moves to put less stress on his body. But Manly physio Andrew Lowndes insists the trip can bring benefits for all Manly players.

The physio has travelled with Trbojevic to oversee the fullback's 20 sessions with renowned expert Bill Knowles, and is on his own fact-finding mission. "The amount of information from an expert like this is reasonably overwhelming," Lowndes said.

"I'm taking notes in every session and then I come back at night and summarise it all. Practical examples, and how we can implement from a team perspective, benefit everyone."

With AAP

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