Charlie Staines will miss up to three months of NRL action after suffering a perforated bowel in the Wests Tigers' loss to Manly last weekend. On Wednesday, the Tigers revealed the gruesome injury to the star outside back, who underwent surgery on Monday after being admitted to hospital.
Staines is believed to have picked up the injury while being tackled, but played on through the pain and finished the match. The pain then increased after the game, and Staines was admitted to hospital after notifying club doctors.
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He remains there after undergoing surgery on Monday and will be replaced on the wing by David Nofoaluma for this weekend's clash with reigning champions Penrith. Teammate David Klemmer, regarded as one of the toughest players in the NRL, lauded Staines' courage and bravery to finish the match against Manly.
"My respect for him has gone up another level," Klemmer said. "Adrenalin got him through but as soon as the game stopped it must have just hit him like a ton of bricks.
"It's pretty amazing what he did. He was still taking carries and making tackles and putting them through it. It's a massive credit to him. I'm just glad that he's safe."
The perforated bowel is expected to sideline Staines for between eight and 12 weeks. It comes as another crushing blow for the Tigers, who are currently dead-last on the ladder with an 0-7 record.
The Tigers are already missing gun five-eighth Adam Doueihi, who suffered a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament tear two weeks ago and will be sidelined for 16 months. Staines has been a rare shining light in a Tigers season plagued by controversy on and off the field.
"He's blown me off the park how consistent he is around his training, inside the gym and his footy as well," Klemmer said. "I really rate him as a footy player. He's been great to play with and he's been great for this team. He's going to be a big loss."
Fans were also left gutted for the Tigers and Staines, with the injury adding to their mounting troubles.
Staines being out for 8-12 weeks is a huge blow.
— Ethan (@ethxn26) April 26, 2023
Ouch! That’s awful
— Geraint 🇦🇺🇮🇱 (@Methead13) April 26, 2023
Real shame for Charlie, been one of the best in the backline. Hope the recovery goes well.
— Steven Johns (@SJBotchy) April 26, 2023
Poor guy. Really liked what he was doing for us. Hopefully he recovers well
— Monique (@hasiukm) April 26, 2023
Josh Reynolds to start for Bulldogs as Kyle Flanagan dumped
In more team news emerging on Wednesday, the Bulldogs have axed halfback Kyle Flanagan and handed Josh Reynolds his first start for the club since 2017. Cameron Ciraldo has opted for the experienced Reynolds ahead of boom youngster Karl Oloapu, who is listed in the reserves for Canterbury's clash with the Dragons on Sunday.
Fa'amanu Brown has also been recalled, two weeks ahead of schedule after recovering from an elbow injury, with the Bulldogs desperate for their first win since round five. The Dragons have also summoned Max Feagai to replace the injured Tautau Moga after the 29-year-old suffered a shoulder injury during his three-try performance against the Roosters on Anzac Day.
Manly have also named star fullback Tom Trbojevic despite picking up a groin injury against the Tigers, although he will have to pass a fitness test in order to face the Gold Coast on Saturday. Winger Christian Tuipulotu is back from a knee injury for the Sea Eagles and second-rower Kelma Tuilagi returns from a concussion. But Brad Parker (knee) and Josh Schuster (quad) will miss the Titans clash.
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