'Not at all': Des Hasler's shock take on Tom Trbojevic injury drama

Manly coach Des Hasler insists Tom Trbojevic is 'fine' despite the fullback appearing to struggle with a knee injury against Brisbane. Pic: AAP
Manly coach Des Hasler insists Tom Trbojevic is 'fine' despite the fullback appearing to struggle with a knee injury against Brisbane. Pic: AAP

Manly coach Des Hasler has sensationally brushed aside injury concerns around his star fullback Tom Trbojevic in the wake of Friday night's humbling 38-0 defeat to Brisbane.

The reigning Dally M medallist played the full 80 minutes in the opening night of NRL Magic Round, but was clearly in discomfort with his knee heavily bandaged.

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It was the first time Manly had been kept scoreless in a regular-season game since 1999 and the defeat was the Sea Eagles' biggest-ever against Brisbane.

'Turbo' lacked impact from the back and his form on a wet Suncorp Stadium track in his second game back from mid-season knee surgery will leave NSW coach Brad Fittler with plenty to ponder ahead of Origin I on June 8.

Trbojevic was clearly labouring throughout the contest, with TV coverage showing the Manly superstar wincing through the apparent discomfort caused by his troublesome knee.

However, Manly's coach insisted he was "fine" after the game, denying that the fullback had exacerbated the issue.

“He is okay, he is getting back... still not quite there at the moment, but he is okay he won’t use that as an excuse,” Hasler said.

When pressed on whether Trbojevic had aggravated his injury, Hasler was unequivocal.

“No, no he hasn’t, not at all,” Hasler said.

“I can categorically say he is okay, he’s fine, he is fine.”

Hasler's assertion was at odds with the perception shared by most league fans on Friday night.

Tom Trbojevic ineffective in big loss to Brisbane

"He's not fit," league great Andrew Johns said about the Manly fullback on Channel Nine. "He can't break tackles.

"It's easy for us to sit here and say 'he shouldn't be playing' (because) sometimes the decision has to be taken out of his hands."

Both Trbojevic and Hasler insisted after the game that he was fit, but it was noticeable in one Broncos try that 'Turbo' didn't even get close to stopping Brisbane winger Corey Oates from touching down.

Manly have just one win from their last four and face Parramatta and Melbourne in the next fortnight.

"We've got a tough couple coming up and it's important (to have Trbojevic on deck)," Hasler said. "But it's important we start putting games together and start getting some consistency.

"Sure we were brave against Souths and we had a win against the Tigers last week but tonight was unacceptable and the players know that.

"Hopefully we'll make amends for that next week against Parra."

Seen here, Ben Trbojevic in action for the Manly Sea Eagles against Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium.
Ben Trbojevic also picked up a shoulder injury in a bad night for the Manly Sea Eagles at Suncorp Stadium. Pic: AAP

Making matters worse for the Sea Eagles is a shoulder injury to Trbojevic's younger brother, Ben.

Hasler revealed after the match that the centre had aggravated an AC joint injury, which could see the 20-year-old sidelined for a number of weeks.

“He has an AC. He was pretty brave to stay on and he was pretty effective for us, I thought he did a pretty good job out there tonight,” Hasler said.

“He has aggravated an AC though.”

with AAP

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