Trbojevic grounded to limit cheekbone risk

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Manly will be forced to win without Tom Trbojevic as they continue their push for the NRL top four after the superstar fullback was ruled out of Friday's clash with Canberra.

The Sea Eagles finally made a call on the NRL's most talked about cheekbone on Thursday afternoon, opting to sit Trbojevic out of the Suncorp Stadium clash.

The club remains adamant that there is no fracture in Trbojevic's face after colliding with teammate Jason Saab last week.

But they remain concerned over the threat of re-injury until swelling subsides, and have decided to play it safe before the 2021 finals.

The injury is expected to sideline the 24-year-old for one week, and he is likely to return against Canterbury.

It comes as Manly remain two points behind the Sydney Roosters in the race for fourth spot, needing to keep winning to maintain the pressure on their rivals.

"There's no fracture there, so that was the main thing," Hasler said earlier on Thursday.

"It's whether or not the risk of upsetting or injuring the plate. It's something that we know will take pretty seriously.

"He's progressing pretty well."

Tevita Funa has been named at fullback but there is every chance Reuben Garrick will move to the back while Funa shifts to the wing.

It means Dylan Walker can remain on the bench in his ball-playing role.

But the loss of Trbojevic is the biggest blow possible to Manly.

The No.1 is easily the most influential player in the game, with the Sea Eagles a staggering 33.7 points better in games he has played this year.

They have won just 11 of their past 35 games without the Dally M favourite, compared to 25 of 33 with him since the start of 2019.

Their previous loss without the fullback came against the Raiders in round 17, but Hasler insists the circumstances are different this week.

He pointed to the fact Trbojevic was one of six Sea Eagles that missed the game, including Daly Cherry-Evans in Queensland camp and Jake Trbojevic through injury.

"They had a few out as well so it was a pretty tight kind of game," Hasler said.

"The thing I remember most about that game was the amount of possession that Canberra had.

"So we've got to be respectful about that, we have make sure we manage possession a bit better."

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