Luke Thompson out for six months in brutal blow for Canterbury Bulldogs

The forward has been dealt a cruel blow ahead of the NRL season.

Bulldogs forward Luke Thompson passing the ball and Thompson injured.
Bulldogs forward Luke Thompson (pictured left) has been ruled out for up to six months after a training ground accident. (Images: Getty Images/Twitter)

The Bulldogs have been dealt a huge blow only days out from their opening NRL match of the season after forward Luke Thompson was ruled out for up to six months. Thompson was helped off the field during a Bulldogs training session after the English international damaged his foot in an accidental mishap.

Thompson's injury came at a horror time, with the Bulldogs only hours away from announcing their starting line-up for their opening match against Manly on Saturday. Bulldogs general manager of football Phil Gould confirmed the horror injury.

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"Unfortunately Luke Thompson's injury is quite serious," Gould wrote. "Prognosis is for minimum six months recovery. Possibly longer depending on surgery type.

"Very sad for Luke and the club. Thunderbolts happen."

Unfortunately for Thompson, the forward has battled a number of concussions throughout his three seasons at the club. He has played 38 games during his time at the Bulldogs. Thomson returned from the World Cup in good form having impressed for England in their semi-final run.

Thompson joins fellow forward Tevita Pangai Jr in the casualty ward, the Tonga prop looking at a month out of action with a calf injury. The Bulldogs named Max King and Ryan Sutton in the front row for Saturday's clash with Manly, the latter in line for his club debut after switching from Canberra this off-season.

Hulking youngster Franklin Pele has been named on the bench, with fellow prop Jayden Tanner added in place of Thompson. Gould added that the club won't 'panic' after all the injuries to the front rowers and that the young players will have an opportunity to step up.

Manly will be playing at Brookvale Oval and will head into the match against the Bulldogs as strong favourites to start the season. The NRL world was quick to wish Thompson a speedy recovery after the horror injury.

Phil Gould praises new signing Viliame Kikau

Last week, Gould praised Viliame Kikau's presence at the club during the pre-season and said 19-year-old centre Paul Alamoti, a local junior with huge wraps on him, will benefit from the premiership winner's guidance. Gould has a deep understanding of 27-year-old Kikau from his days as Penrith general manager.

It is what the Fijian international has done, and will continue to do, for the players around him that enthuses Gould.

"Connectivity between players is very important and you just have to look at Viliame Kikau and his time at Panthers playing in that left (second-row) position," Gould told AAP at Channel Nine's Wide World of Sports NRL launch in Brisbane.

Bulldogs NRL General Manager of Football Phil Gould walking.
Bulldogs NRL General Manager of Football Phil Gould (pictured) has called for the young forwards to step up after a number of injuries within the club. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

"He started with Waqa Blake. Then he went to Stephen Crichton. Then he went to Matt Burton. Then he went to Izack Tago.

"He has virtually nurtured four great young centres that have played outside him, so we have put Paul Alamoti outside him this year who will debut in round one against Manly. Viliame has taken him on as a project. Paul will be absolutely stoked to be playing outside him."

with AAP

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