Parramatta coach Brad Arthur has admitted for the first time he is unsure whether star Anthony Watmough will play in the NRL again.
Watmough, after moving to the Eels last season on a lucrative four-year deal, is yet to be sighted in 2016 and hasn’t played since last July.
The former Manly star remains in Parramatta’s rehab group and is considered a week-to-week proposition, but Arthur says the debilitating knee injury that has kept Watmough out has shown no signs of improvement.
“He’d love to come back but I just don’t know if his body’s going to allow him to,” Arthur said on Wednesday.
Arthur admits he’s almost forgotten about the veteran forward.
“He’s in the rehab group but those blokes tend to get lost a little bit once you’re playing week to week,” he said.
“Unfortunately, you just focus on the boys that are playing on the weekend. He’d love to keep playing but, if his body won’t allow him, it’s out of his control.”
It has previously been reported that the 32-year-old, who is in the second year of his Eels contract, is in talks with the club on a severance payout.
However, Arthur said he would give Watmough as long he wanted to decide whether to hang up the boots.
“He’s contracted so he could take as long as he likes to get himself right,” he said.
Watmough has played 303 games over 14 seasons in the NRL, 13 years with the Sea Eagles, where he was a part of their 2008 and 2011 grand final victories.
He has also played 14 Tests for the Kangaroos, and 14 State of Origin games for NSW.