Titans throw support behind luckless James

Ed Jackson

Gold Coast chief executive Steve Mitchell wants luckless Ryan James to play for the NRL club in 2021 despite the off-contract forward suffering a recurrence of his knee injury.

Having initially torn his ACL in round six last year, James has been left devastated after re-injuring the same knee last week during training.

It's thrown the 28-year-old's long-term future in doubt but Mitchell made it clear he wants to see James at the club next year.

"Absolutely," Mitchell simply said when asked if he wants to keep James at the Titans.

"He's a local kid. He's been with the club since day one. He brings a lot to the club in regard to culture. He's a fabulous leader for us.

"He's got to go through it and work out what his program looks like now from a recovery point of view and we'll work through from there. We love Ryan, we're just moving forward."

The extent of James' injury is yet to be made public, with another specialist appointment set for Wednesday.

Despite the devastating news, Mitchell said James was coping with the setback.

"'He's processing what that event's been like," Mitchell said.

"He's upbeat, talking about what he's going to be doing over the next few months, what he's going to focus on and how he's going to get better and get back.

"It's just testimony to the individual."

A Ken Stephens Medal winner for his community work, James was a hot topic at the launch of the Titans Together community foundation on the Gold Coast on Tuesday.

The popular Tweed Heads product will not be lacking for support from teammates and the wider community, says ex-Titan Mark Minichiello.

"He's a big part of this club ... a local junior and I really feel for him," Minichiello said.

"Hopefully he can just stay positive and just do what he needs to do to get back.

"He's got lots of support around him through his teammates, his family and the club and community. I wish him all the best."