Meninga's warning to Rabbitohs over Latrell Mitchell
Rugby league legend Mal Meninga is warning South Sydney to carefully manage Latrell Mitchell's troublesome knee injury after the game-breaking fullback gave fans an almighty scare in the Rabbitohs' NRL season opener.
Hearts were in mouths when Mitchell lay prone on the ground at PointsBet Stadium on Saturday night receiving lengthy treatment during Souths' eventful 27-18 win over Cronulla.
He eventually rose to play on after having his left knee heavily strapped during the halftime break.
"He's got a bit of an issue with his PCL, but we'll get it checked," said Souths coach Jason Demetriou.
"I thought he played outstanding in the second half."
Mitchell seemed to allay fears of a serious injury when he made a barnstorming run early in the second half, then nailed a long-range penalty goal and kicked a field goal as the siren sounded.
But Meninga said Souths coach Jason Demetriou and the club's medical staff could do worse than to rest their attacking trump, especially given Mitchell has already endured hamstring problems throughout his career.
"Obviously he's going to be high maintenance," the Australian Test coach said on Fox Sports' post-match analysis.
"Through the year he's going to have to look after it.
"He's a big fella. He runs quite quick and he can step so he needs those ligaments intact.
"So a lot of work with recovery and prevention - and maybe less training to play."
The Rabbitohs also have concerns over Tevita Tatola (concussion) and Jai Arrow (hamstring) after both middle men were hurt early on against the Sharks.
Tatola was removed from the field after a head clash with Dale Finucane in the opening hit-up of the match, while Arrow limped out of PointsBet Stadium with an ice pack on the back of his left leg.
Both look in considerable doubt for Souths' Thursday night blockbuster with premiers Penrith at BlueBet Stadium.