Mystery surrounds exactly when Will Zillman will make his NRL return after the Gold Coast co-captain again missed out on selection on Tuesday.
Ten months after Zillman’s last game, Titans coach Neil Henry admitted he had no idea when the regular fullback would overcome his latest ailment – a calf injury sustained in the pre-season.
Henry added Eddy Pettybourne to the 17 that last week upset Wests Tigers for Saturday’s NRL clash in Canberra, saying the jury was out on when Zillman would be sighted again.
Zillman has not played since round 10 last year when he sustained a back injury that required surgery.
“It’s really annoying him, he’s very frustrated,” Henry said.
“He hasn’t been able to put together a full week’s training and he hasn’t been able to do any contact either so until he can do that he’s not going to be able to play.
“We thought it was going to be right by now but it hasn’t been so I’m pretty reluctant (to nominate a return game).”
Overall Zillman has been restricted to just 42 games for the Titans in four seasons due to injury.
Henry has a handy replacement at fullback in David Mead who has averaged 150 metres-plus a game this year.
“He (Zillman) needs to have that strength and confidence back and he needs to do some contact work so he needs to be part of our opposed sessions,” Henry said.
“I don’t think it’s back related. I think it’s just something that he’s picked up and hasn’t been right.
“At the moment he hasn’t done that so he can’t play and Meady will be in that spot.”
Meanwhile, Henry confirmed reserve hooker Matt Srama had suffered a season-ending knee injury, leaving the off-contract rake’s NRL future up in the air.
Srama, 25, suffered the injury playing for Queensland cup side Burleigh against Sunshine Coast last weekend.
Srama – who had played 65 NRL games for Gold Coast – had just overcome a shoulder reconstruction.
“It’s really disappointing for him and the club,” Henry said.
“He’s in the final year of his contract here but he’s a young player with still a future there but I suppose that’s a personal decision for him.
“He’s certainly got the ability to play at the highest level.
“We’ll see how he recovers from this and make a decision later.”