Warriors star Roger Tuivasa-Sheck was shocked when told how serious the knee injury was that has ruled him out for the rest of the NRL season.
The fullback limped off in the 16th minute of the 24-20 win over Canterbury Bulldogs in Wellington last Saturday night after getting his left knee caught in a tackle.
He says he was in a happy mood as he celebrated the victory with his teammates in the changing sheds and he felt OK on the flight back to Auckland, “swinging my leg side to side”.
It was when he saw orthopaedic surgeon Stu Walsh on Sunday that he found out about the full extent of his injury – a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament.
“He told me most likely it was my ACL so I would be out for the season,” Tuivasa-Sheck in an interview on the Warriors website.
“I was ready for six to seven weeks, and when he said the season, I was just in big shock. It was crazy, but it’s just something you have to deal with and you have to roll on now.”
A high-profile signing from Sydney Roosters, the 11-Test Kiwi was playing in his seventh match for the Warriors.
Because of the way he was able to move the leg and also stand on it, he still held out hope before going in for scans on Monday that his season might not be over.
But the call the 22-year-old got afterwards merely confirmed the bad news.
Tuivasa-Sheck will undergo surgery on May 13.
During his long road to recovery, he will do promotional work for the club and coach Andrew McFadden will use him to help guide teammates such as Tuimoala Lolohea, who will replace him in the No.1 jersey against Melbourne on Anzac Day.
“Cappy [McFadden] wants to keep me involved,” he said.
“I’ll definitely still be around to help the boys.”