Viliame Kikau in brutal update as Bulldogs injury crisis deepens
The Bulldogs have received some bad news amid their injury crisis.
The Bulldogs have been delivered a brutal blow with Viliame Kikau not expected to return for the club until round 22 having torn his pectoral muscle in training. Kikau was one of the biggest signings for the new-look Bulldogs in 2022, but the premiership-winning forward was injured earlier this month in a training ground incident.
The backrower was only just returning from a two-week concussion layoff when he tore his pectoral muscle. He was initially expected to miss between '8-10 weeks' after undergoing surgery.
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However, Kikau will be devastated with the marauding forward set to sit on the sideline till round 22 after a full rupture of his muscle. The back-rower was one of the Bulldogs' biggest signings in the off-season after he left the Panthers, where he won back-to-back premiership titles.
Kikau is considered one of the best back-rowers in the game and had played the club's first five games before the concussion. Bulldogs general of football Phil Gould took to social media and claimed Kikau needed an extended period of rest.
Brien Seeney, from the 'NRL Physio' Twitter account, claimed that the normal recovery for a torn pectoral muscle could be around 14 weeks.
Queensland legend Cameron Smith admitted at the time it was a huge blow for the Bulldogs and the forward himself. "He's a huge profile signing and after just losing the Fox (Josh Addo-Carr), that is absolutely devastating for Bulldogs fans," Smith said on SEN Radio.
The Bulldogs are looking to snap a three-match losing streak under coach Cameron Ciraldo and are battling an injury crisis following Addo-Carr's ankle injury against the Rabbitohs at the beginning of April.
Franklin will return next weekend. Chris Patolo and Luke Thompson recoveries are quite delicate. No exact timelines. Kikau surgery determined he needed extended period. Longer than first anticipated. Doctor Addo-Carr was probably a bit optimistic with his own original prognosis. https://t.co/p5vuOCxqAF
— Phil Gould (@PhilGould15) April 27, 2023
So another disappointing year for Dogs fans 🥲
— Simon (@pennypacker_78) April 27, 2023
Bulldogs seek to snap losing streak
The Bulldogs are suffering an injury crisis, but it didn't stop Cameron Ciraldo making the big call to axe Canterbury halfback Kyle Flanagan in favour of Josh Reynolds as the Bulldogs seek to address their three-game losing run. Fa'amanu Brown has also been recalled, two weeks ahead of schedule after recovering from an elbow injury, as the Bulldogs search for their first win since round five.
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs' opponents, the Dragons, have summoned Max Feagai to fill Tautau Moga's spot, with the 29-year-old Samoa winger suffering shoulder problems after five tries in two games.
Manly have named star fullback Tom Trbojevic for their clash, despite the Origin star suffering a groin injury against the Tigers last week. The Sea Eagles have also recalled Winger Christian Tuipulotu is back from a knee injury for the Sea Eagles and second-rower Kelma Tuilagi returns from a concussion.
Brad Parker (knee) and Josh Schuster (quad) miss out. Cooper Johns will fill in for Schuster in the halves.
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