Jake Trbojevic rocked in devastating new blow after Origin withdrawal
The Manly star's sad update will be shattering news for Sea Eagles and NSW fans.
The Manly Sea Eagles and NSW Origin team have been dealt a brutal blow, with news classy forward Jake Trbojevic has been ruled out for six weeks with a fresh calf injury. The oldest of the Trbojevic brothers returned to NRL action in Manly's win over Canberra on Sunday after being sidelined for several weeks with a calf complaint.
Trbojevic came off late in the contest against the Raiders after complaining of soreness, before ruling himself out of State of Origin selection for Brad Fittler's Blues side. Scans have now confirmed the 29-year-old has again torn his calf, in a devastating setback for his NRL team and the Blues.
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The Manly workhorse is not expected to return before the end of the Origin series, with Manly set to be without their best forward until the end of next month. Jake's brother Ben is also set for a long period on the sidelines after suffering his second hamstring tear of the year early in the Raiders match.
BREAKING NEWS per @JelisaApps
A massive blow for NSW with Jake Trbojevic ruled out of State of Origin due to a torn calf. #NRL pic.twitter.com/14OuH5ZINe
— SEN League (@SENLeague) May 23, 2023
Big blow for the Trbojevic brothers - scans revealing Jake (calf) & Ben (hamstring) suffered muscle tears in Round 12. Jurbo will miss up to 6 weeks (usual range 4-6 weeks) & no expected timeframe provided by the Sea Eagles for Burbo as yet (usual range 4-8 weeks)
— NRL PHYSIO (@nrlphysio) May 23, 2023
It comes as the Sea Eagles battle a serious injury crisis in their pack. Josh Aloiai will miss a second straight match against Newcastle on Sunday after a dislocated shoulder, but Manly are hopeful he will return after the round-14 bye. Kelma Tuilagi (facial fracture), Aaron Woods (wrist) and Zac Fulton (elbow) are also out for several more weeks.
Mixed Origin fortunes for Manly's Trbojevic brothers
Jake's omission from Fittler's Blues side opened the door for NSW to spring a shock selection by drafting in Canterbury wrecking ball Tevita Pangai Jr in his place. Pangai has had his own injury issues earlier this season and after some inconsistent form for the Bulldogs, his inclusion was one of the biggest shocks for the Blues.
Apisau Koroisau won the race to play hooker ahead of Blues incumbent Damien Cook, with the Wests Tigers skipper earning a recall off the back of a resurgence of form that culminated in his side's thrashing of North Queensland over the weekend. Koroisau will be the one and only specialist hooker for the Blues, with Nicho Hynes set to debut for the Blues as the bench utility player.
Canberra's Hudson Young is also set to debut for NSW, with Knights forward Tyson Frizell earning an Origin recall after more than two years out of the Blues side. Josh Addo-Carr did enough in Sunday's return match for the Bulldogs to earn a NSW wing spot, while there was happier news for Trbojevic's other brother Tom, whose hat-trick against the Raiders sealed his place in the side.
Tom's potential inclusion had been one of the most contentious debates for Blues fans, with persistent concerns over his fitness after a spate of hamstring injuries. The Manly fullback provided an emphatic answer to those concerns on Sunday, before admitting after his NSW selection that the constant speculation around his fitness is particularly trying.
"I didn't really doubt myself, but it does wear down on you a little bit, all the external commentary," Tom Trbojevic told reporters while at Blues camp. "You can't really escape it these days, it's just part of it. Something I just had to come to accept. It wasn't personal doubt.
"It wasn't hurting me. It was more - you get comments about how your body is feeling and people saying, 'He's not right', when you know you feel good within yourself. That stuff can be a little bit frustrating, but I understand I wasn't playing well enough, so I guess it comes off the back of it.
"I'm not going to sugar-coat it and be like, 'Everyone should praise me when I'm not playing well', but it is what it is." Questions over Trbojevic's form had coincided with claims the fullback was only running at 80 per cent after suffering a fifth hamstring injury in five years over the summer.
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