Cronulla captain Paul Gallen is expected to find out on Monday morning whether his NRL career is over due to a knee injury.
Gallen was taking a hit-up when he slowed into contact in the second half of the Sharks’ 20-14 first-round loss to North Queensland in Townsville on Saturday night.
The Sharks, as well as NSW State of Origin fans, now face an anxious wait as the off-contract Gallen goes for scans early on Monday to determine the extent of the damage to his right knee.
A tired Gallen said it was hard to know how long he would be out for.
“I have had a couple of injuries before to not only this knee, but the other knee as well,” he said upon the side’s arrival in Sydney on Sunday afternoon.
“I really don’t know to be honest with you. I’ve had a terrible night’s sleep and I’m just a bit tired. I just want to get this scan done. We’ll know everything by nine or ten o’clock tomorrow morning.”
Asked whether he felt his career could be over, he said: “I don’t want to go down that road yet.
“There’s no point jumping to conclusions. I just really want to find out what’s wrong and my main concern is getting back on the field as quick as I can.”
Gallen, 34, said the incident happened just before he limped from the field.
He attempted to play on with the pain, taking one more hit-up, and then signalled to the trainer that he couldn’t go on.
“It happened earlier in the game, probably five minutes before I came off. Just had a bit of a sore knee, and then had another run and it was just too sore to carry on, so I came off,” he said.
The Blues captain said he felt better and was walking pain free on Sunday.
“Obviously straight after the game you’re pretty down. On top of the loss, it compounds it,” he said.
“But waking up this morning, going into recovery and walking around, not feeling too bad. It feels a little bit brighter, and being around the boys just makes me feel a bit better too.”
This season is expected to be Gallen’s last in the NRL after the NSW and Kangaroos veteran signed a one-year extension last year.
He has previously stated he would wait until about round 10 before making a decision on his future.