The Sydney Roosters are rallying around injured second-rower Boyd Cordner after learning he could be out for the remainder of the NRL season.
It was initially thought the NSW State of Origin forward would miss six weeks at most when he injured his foot in last Wednesday’s series-opener against Queensland.
However Cordner, who missed the opening seven rounds of the season after tearing his pectoral muscle in the summer, admitted the latest setback could rule him out for the year.
“I think it’s shattering for anyone to be injured, especially at this time of year,” teammate Aidan Guerra said on Tuesday.
“Boyd’s no different. He’s trying to keep his spirits up, but he’s got a job to do on rehab and if he does it right, he could be back sooner rather than later.”
The news is not so bad for fullback Latrell Mitchell, who was cleared of any serious damage to his ankle after coming off late in Sunday’s NRL win over the Wests Tigers.
Guerra said it was unlikely the 18-year-old would play against Melbourne on Saturday.
“I think he’s alright. It’s one of those injuries – anything you haven’t had before you automatically think the worst. It’s about him and his rehab on that foot,” Guerra said.
“I wouldn’t think he’d play, but never know.”
Halfback Mitchell Pearce was a late withdrawal from the Tigers clash due to a slight calf strain but is another who isn’t likely to be risked against the ladder-leading Storm.
“There was speculation that he had to try and get through training first,” prop Sam Moa said.
“But I think they’ll try and be safe and have another week off leading into the bye and make sure it doesn’t turn into a grade five, six, seven or eight calf muscle (tear).”
Recalled playmaker Jackson Hastings could benefit from Pearce’s absence after starring in the win alongside fellow youngster Ryan Matterson.
It was a huge performance from Hastings, who bounced back to form just two weeks after being dropped by coach Trent Robinson.
“I think he just came back with a lot less pressure on himself,” Moa said.
“It was a late call up for him so he didn’t have to think about the game the whole week. I thought he played really well. It was good to see him after the game with a smile on his face.
“Hopefully he can build on that performance. It’s just extremely pleasing for a senior member of this team when you can have two young guys play the way that they did in the circumstances that they did.”