Premiership-winning forward Viliame Kikau could be sidelined for up to 14 weeks in the NRL after tearing his pectoral muscle at Bulldogs training on Tuesday. In a devastating new blow for the injury-hit Bulldogs, the club's football manager Phil Gould confirmed new recruit Kikau injured himself while on the training paddock.
Kikau was returning from a two-week concussion layoff when he tore a pectoral muscle. Gould confirmed the back-rower will undergo surgery on Monday and would 'hopefully' only miss between 8-10 weeks.
In a club statement, the Bulldogs also confirmed the injury: "He left the training field yesterday with the injury and he received scans today to confirm a full rupture that will require surgery," the club said. "He will undergo repair surgery on Monday and the club will work with the relevant medical professionals to manage his injury post operatively."
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.
However, the bulldozing back-rower could be set for a long stint on the sidelines after the 'NRL Physio' Twitter account claimed that the normal recovery for a torn pectoral muscle could be around 14 weeks.
"I've just got word through that Viliame Kikau has torn a pec muscle at training," Gould said on his podcast Six Tackles with Gus. "So he will be having surgery on Monday.
"That's football... thunderbolts happen. You get a thunderbolt out of the blue. Surgery on Monday will probably determine his fate, but at the moment they're hopeful of eight to 10 weeks (out) I suppose."
Queensland legend Cameron Smith admitted 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 have won three games of six under new coach Cameron Ciraldo, but are now battling an injury crisis following Addo-Carr's ankle injury against the Rabbitohs.
Wtf is going on 😓 cursed
— Sal_Was_Here (@Slm2138) April 12, 2023
Huge blow for the dogs
— Full Credit To The Boys (@credittotheboyz) April 12, 2023
man we can’t catch a break at the bulldogs never seen a injury hit squad this bad before Ciraldo training the boys too much or something?
— Shotzz (@impulsegrenades) April 12, 2023
this is so sad i feel for the doggies fans
— jordan (@msjordzadele) April 12, 2023
"He's a huge profile signing and after just losing the Fox, that is absolutely devastating for Bulldogs fans."
- Cameron Smith reacts to Viliame Kikau's latest pec injury #NRL
— The Captain’s Run (@CaptainsRunNRL) April 12, 2023
Horror news for the Dogs with Gus confirming via his podcast that Viliame Kikau has torn his pec at training.
— The League Scene (@LeagueScenePod) April 12, 2023
Viliame Kikau injury adds to Bulldogs' woes
The Bulldogs have been left devastated with injuries and it showed after they were dismantled at the hands of the Rabbitohs in their 50-16 loss on Friday. Addo-Carr was sent for scans and his injury inside the opening 10 minutes was where things began to fall apart for a depleted Bulldogs side that had opened the scoring through Jacob Averillo.
Souths scored four unanswered tries courtesy of Cameron Murray, Jacob Host and a Latrell Mitchell double to take a 26-6 lead to the half-time break. Matt Burton clawed Canterbury back into the game with a well-taken try but the Dogs' hard work was undone when back-rower Jacob Preston was sin-binned for a hip-drop tackle on Souths winger Izaac Thomspon in the 62nd minute.
"I was really happy with where we started the second half," said Bulldogs coach Cameron Ciraldo, whose side face Parramatta next week. "I thought we were looking really good and that seemed to ... I don't know if it killed our energy or killed our belief, but we just didn't handle it and you can't give South Sydney that many cues."
The Bulldogs are also missing English forward Luke Thompson, who injured his foot in a pre-season training mishap, while Tevita Pangai Jr will play his first game of the season against the Eels. Young forward Franklin Pele fractured his arm against the Cowboys.
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