Manly’s horror injury toll from the NRL Auckland Nines continues with Jayden Hodges feared likely to miss the season with an ACL rupture and Jamie Buhrer confirmed with a broken jaw.
Manly are down to 13 fit men and unable to make a full squad for the rest of the two-day tournament at Eden Park after Hodges went down in the Sea Eagles’ 14-8 loss to Canterbury on Sunday.
It came after Buhrer, Jake Trbojevic (concussion) and Nathan Green (head knock) were ruled out after going down on day one while Jorge Taufua was not allowed to take the field because of a pre-existing hamstring complaint.
“I don’t know what to say. It’s just crazy,” frustrated Manly coach Trent Barrett said.
Barrett said his side’s injury toll was a prime example of why sides did not bring full strength squads to the Nines.
“We’ve just got to try and patch the team up and play again. But it’s pretty obvious why we don’t bring all the superstars to all the games.”
The NRL on Saturday blocked Manly’s attempt to field replacement Dylan Kelly and Barrett said they would make another application.
“Dylan Kelly is sitting there, we’ve got another player, we’re down to 13,” Barrett said.
“It’ll be pretty criminal if they don’t let him play now.”
Utility Buhrer is expected to miss the first month of the NRL season and has returned to Sydney after being injured on Saturday.
He copped a high tackle from Warriors prop Albert Vete in a controversial match on the first day of the tournament.
The latest injury was a bitter blow for former NSW utility Buhrer who was restricted to just seven games last year after tearing his ACL.
Trbojevic copped a knee in the head while making a tackle on Warriors centre Konrad Hurrell who was not charged by the NRL match review committee.
Hurrell was banned for three weeks last season and ordered to change his running style after a similar incident which left Cronulla’s Anthony Tupou with a broken jaw.
Green suffered a head knock in a tackle against the Warriors and was also been scratched for Sunday’s action.
South Sydney winger Alex Johnston suffered a shoulder injury in the first match of the day against the Sydney Roosters and wasn’t named in the side’s final pool game against Parramatta.
Wests Tigers veteran Chris Lawrence picked up a hip injury but he described it as not serious.
Parramatta winger John Folau also picked up a hamstring problem.