He’s been quietly going about his work in the background, but everybody at South Sydney has been watching.
Kyle Turner has inspired the Rabbitohs with his perseverance in fighting back from a career-threatening spinal injury and he is on track to make his NRL return against Newcastle at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night.
The 23-year-old trained with the Rabbitohs on Thursday after playing for feeder club North Sydney last weekend in his first game of rugby league since he was injured in a Paul Gallen tackle in the All Stars game in February.
It was initially feared he may never play again.
Souths coach Michael Maguire is thrilled with Turner’s progress and hasn’t ruled him out of returning against the Knights.
“He’s pulled up very well (from the Norths game). He’s mixing it around with the team at the moment, so we’ll see how we go,” Maguire said.
The premiership-winning Turner underwent revolutionary surgery, which involved the removal of a bulging disc through the front of his throat that was replaced with an artificial one.
Maguire admitted seeing Turner play again last weekend was a very special moment for the club.
“He’s done a lot of work in the background and to see him running around on the weekend … I think all his teammates and the staff are really pleased with how he’s gone and he’s going to be a great addition to us,” he said.
The fourth-placed Rabbitohs are expected to make light work of the Knights, but Maguire doesn’t think it will be a straight forward match.
Newcastle, who sit 14th, come into the game after dispatching Gold Coast 30-2 last weekend.
“They were very good, they hung onto the ball and completed high and played a fairly expansive game of rugby league. Defensively we are aware that they can shift the ball around and we’ve got to be spot on,” Maguire said.