Every club, every injury, every return date
Every club, every injury, every return date

NRL casualty ward: Pearce sent for surgery

Mitchell Pearce's troubled off-season has taken another turn with the Newcastle Knights playmaker requiring immediate surgery following a training mishap.

The 31-year-old will undergo an operation to his right thumb following a pre-season incident last week.

Pearce was due to front the press for the first time on Wednesday morning following the sudden cancellation of his wedding last December.


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The Knights media department declared on Wednesday; "Pearce's injury is considered minor and he is not expected to miss any NRL football."




The club also confirmed rookie forward Jirah Momoisea suffered a ruptured achilles at training, prior to the Christmas break.

"I'll get surgery and I should be back back out with the ball in two weeks," Pearce said.

"It's a small little hiccup, but it's a long year.

"It's a little crack there.

"I'm just grateful that if you're going to get it at any time, you get it now six to seven weeks out from round one.

"I can still do some running and stuff and I'll be back to doing ballwork in a couple of weeks.

"I could possibly play trials, but that will be up to Ads (coach Adam O'Brien).




Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart says Jarrod Croker is ahead of schedule in his recovery from shoulder surgery and is hopeful of having his captain on deck for round one.





Croker was originally ruled out for at least the first month of the 2021 season after suffering a ruptured rotator cuff and torn labrum (cartilage) just five minutes into the Raiders' season-ending 30-10 preliminary final loss to eventual premiers Melbourne.

In an amazing display of bravery, Croker played out the game.

"Jarrod is a quick healer and if he was back for round one, that would be great," Stuart told The Daily Telegraph.

"But I'm still going to find another centre during this pre-season to fill that position in case Jarrod takes a bit more time and misses a game or two."

If Croker misses the opening rounds, Stuart said Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad was an option to shift from fullback and fill Croker's left centre spot.

"He's played international football at centre and did a really good job," Stuart said.

"I've got some good competition that's been created by the rise of some of our younger players last season and I'm looking forward to seeing the fight for those centre, fullback positions."

Meanwhile, Canterbury has been dealt a pre-season blow with confirmation winger Christian Crichton suffered an ACL injury before Christmas and will miss the 2021 campaign.







IN THE WARD: Kotoni Staggs (knee, mid-season), Tom Flegler (shoulder, round one), Andrew McCullough (hamstring, trials), Corey Oates (hand, trials)

Star centre Staggs (ACL) is set to return in approximately round 13 after resuming running after Christmas. Prop Flegler has declared he will be fit for round one as he recovers from shoulder surgery. Hooker McCullough is back to full contact training after a hamstring injury and on track for a round one start. Corey Oates has avoided surgery on a broken hand suffered at training and will trial.



IN THE WARD: Jayden Okunbor (knee, mid-late season), Joe Stimson (shoulder, trials), Adam Elliott (shoulder, trials), Christian Crichton (knee, season), Raymond Faitala-Mariner (ankle, round one)

Canterbury have been dealt a pre-season blow with winger Crichton to miss the 2021 campaign. Crichton was injured at training just before Christmas and was sent for surgery a month later after swelling subsided. Winger Okunbor, who suffered an ACL injury in the final game of the season, is back at training but is limited to non-contact work and will return in June or July at the earliest. Forwards Stimson and Elliott are on track to return in the trials after shoulder injuries. Raymond Faitala-Mariner recently had minor cleanout surgery but is due back for round one.





IN THE WARD: Michael Morgan (calf, trials)

Skipper Morgan, who is recovering from an infection in his shoulder and a calf injury, is back at pre-season training.



IN THE WARD: Jack Bird (knee, trials), Billy Brittain (shoulder, trials), Jack de Belin (stood down)

Coach Anthony Griffin is happy with Bird but great care will be taken to ensure no setbacks. Bird is on track for the trials and round one. Brittain (shoulder) is also back running and pushing for opening round selections. Jack de Belin (stood down) is still unavailable.



Jack Bird trains strongly with the Dragons. Picture: Dragons Digital
Jack Bird trains strongly with the Dragons. Picture: Dragons Digital




IN THE WARD: Blake Ferguson (knee, trials), Maika Sivo (knee, trials), Michael Jennings (suspended, indefinite), Marata Niukore (suspended, round two)

Wingers Ferguson and Sivo will both be available for the trials. Fijian flyer Sivo returned to training before Christmas, while Ferguson returned after Christmas with the club's senior players.



IN THE WARD: Kalyn Ponga (shoulder, early rounds), Blake Green (knee, indefinite), Connor Watson (Achilles, trials), Jayden Brailey (knee, trials), Phoenix Crossland (groin, round one), Mitchell Pearce (thumb, round one), Jirah Momoisea (Achilles, TBC)

Knights halfback Mitchell Pearce has undergone surgery to his right thumb following a training incident, but won't miss any football. Hooker Brailey returned to pre-season training before Christmas after missing almost all of 2020 with a busted ACL. He is aiming for round one. Same deal with utility Watson who is also back running freely. Expect a longer wait for both Ponga and Green, who are still rehabbing after a shoulder reconstruction and knee surgery respectively. Coach Adam O'Brien has said he doesn't expect either to be lengthy delays but there has been some talk the pair could be out until Round 5, or even longer for Green. Phoenix Crossland recently underwent surgery to correct osteitis pubis and hopes to return to full training soon.




IN THE WARD: Charlie Staines (hamstring)

Young winger Staines returned to training before Christmas and is and fully recovered.



IN THE WARD: Braidon Burns (knee, early rounds), Adam Reynolds (groin, trials), Latrell Mitchell (hamstring, trials), Campbell Graham (groin, round one), Taane Milne (knee, mid-season)

Star fullback Mitchell has resumed full training with round one the goal. Graham had surgery and is also back running and on target to start the season, while Reynolds had minor surgery and returned to full training before Christmas. Burns is on modified training with an outside hope for round one. New recruit Taane Milne (ACL) had surgery held back because of COVID so won't play until mid-season.



Latrell Mitchell is aiming to return from a serious hamstring injury.
Latrell Mitchell is aiming to return from a serious hamstring injury.




IN THE WARD: Jarrod Croker (shoulder, early rounds), Ryan Sutton (knee, trials), Corey Horsburgh (foot, round one), Emre Guler (ankle, round one), Curtis Scott (leg, trials), Josh Hodgson (knee, round one), Bailey Simonsson (shoulder, trials)

Sutton would have been OK had Canberra made the grand final and is on track to start the season. Horsburgh is back running and should also be right for round one. Guler is in a similar position, having started running. Scott is back in full training after having a plate taken out of his leg. Hodgson is a chance to start the season but there will be no rush given this is his second ACL knee injury. Simonsson is in full training and will be right for round one. Croker is aiming for round one with coach Ricky Stuart confident he'll only miss a week or two at most.



IN THE WARD: Siosiua Taukeiaho (knee), Victor Radley (knee, early rounds), Sam Verrills (knee, early rounds), Billy Smith (knee, round one), Boyd Cordner (concussion, indefinite)

It's still not clear when Cordner will return to training in 2021 other than that the Roosters are prepared to give their co-captain all the time he needs to get himself right. Young gun Smith should be right to start season, while Radley and Verrills recently completed an intensive rehab program camp with Smith under the watchful eye of physio Adam Bentley and are tracking well.






IN THE WARD: Josh Aloiai (knee, trials), Tom Trbojevic (shoulder/hamstring, trials), Jorge Taufua (Achilles, April), Kieran Foran (pec, trials), Cade Cust (ankle, trials), Josh Schuster (ankle, trials), Moses Suli (foot, round one), Manase Fainu (stood down/shoulder), Dylan Walker (foot, round one)

Trbojevic and Walker are both back training and in full contact while Taufua was aiming to start running in January, with an April return targeted. Centre Suli and recruit Foran were aiming to return to full training in January.




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IN THE WARD: Blayke Brailey (ankle, trials), Siosifa Talakai (shoulder, early rounds), Shaun Johnson (Achilles, round 8-10), Royce Hunt (knee), Bronson Xerri (suspended, indefinite), Matt Moylan (hamstring, trials)

Moylan has struggled with soft tissue injuries the past two seasons, restricting him to just 19 games, but has fully recovered from his most recent hamstring issue and is back into full contact. Johnson and Hunt are both eyeing returns in Round 8-10. Brailey is on track for round one, while Talakai is also aiming for the season-opener but may need to be held back a few weeks.



Shaun Johnson is fighting back from an Achilles injury. Picture: Phil Hillyard
Shaun Johnson is fighting back from an Achilles injury. Picture: Phil Hillyard




IN THE WARD: Max King (ankle, trials), Ryley Jacks (shoulder, trials)

King is recovering from off-season ankle surgery and is on track for round one selection. Jacks is also expected to be available.



IN THE WARD: AJ Brimson (foot, round one), David Fifita (ankle, trials), Jai Whitbread (ankle, trials), Ash Taylor (hip/wrist, trials)

Maroons rep Brimson didn't return to training until the new year but is on track for round one. Star recruit Fifita is also set to fully recover from a syndesmosis injury. Star half Taylor had wrist and hip clean-outs after the season but should be ready for round one while forward Jai Whitbread is back in full training.




IN THE WARD: Leeson Ah Mau (pectoral, trials), Jackson Frei (knee, trials), Bunty Afoa (knee, trials), Karl Lawton (Achilles, indefinite), Ben Murdoch-Masila (pectoral, trials)

Murdoch-Masila (pectoral) has been cleared of serious injury, instead diagnosed with a minor strain. He will be right for the first trial. New coach Nathan Brown will receive a considerable boost to his forward pack with Ah Mau, Frei and Afoa all to be available for round one next season. Hooker Karl Lawton looks set to miss a large chunk of the 2021 season after suffering an Achilles injury at training.



IN THE WARD: Reece Hoffman (knee, trials), Alex Seyfarth (knee, trials), James Roberts (pectoral, trials), Kane Bradley (shoulder, early rounds), Billy Walters (knee, indefinite)

Utility Walters (ACL) has recovered well and commenced controlled running. Hoffman and Seyfarth returned to full training in the new year. Rookie outside back Bradley is also on the mend from shoulder surgery and will return to training in February. New signing James Roberts started training in the new year.

Originally published as NRL casualty ward: Pearce sent for surgery

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