Manly veteran Brett Stewart’s future in the NRL is in real doubt after he was booked in for knee surgery that has ruled him out for at least six weeks.
The club confirmed on Monday that the Sea Eagles fullback will go under the knife in two weeks before making a decision on whether he will finish up for the season.
Stewart has been a shadow of his former self this year, scoring just one try in 11 appearances, leading to a chorus of calls for fullback-in-waiting Tom Trbojevic to be shifted from the flanks.
Trbojevic, who is currently in camp with the NSW State of Origin team as a development player, starred in the club’s last-start win over St George Illawarra, when Stewart was “rested”.
Sea Eagles fans will now get a glimpse of the future as the 19-year-old fills in for Stewart, possibly for good, with Stewart linked to a reunion with brother Glenn at Catalans Dragons in the Super League.
Stewart, 31, has one more year remaining on his current contract.
Sea Eagles forward Jamie Buhrer on Monday backed Trbojevic to perform in any position.
“He’s a freak,” he told reporters at the Sea Eagles’ base in Narrabeen.
“The club was aware of that when they signed him up long-term and he’s shown that. It doesn’t matter where we put him, he puts in cracking performances and it’s really encouraging for the future.”
Stewart’s injury comes on the same day star Dylan Walker was ruled out for a month and fined $10,000 after injuring his hand punching his apartment door over the weekend.