Seven months ago he feared he’d never be able to walk again, but now South Sydney forward Kyle Turner is on track for a comeback to the NRL after recently returning to full training.
Turner hasn’t played since suffering a serious neck injury in the NRL All Stars clash in January that forced the 23-year-old to undergo revolutionary spinal surgery in a bid to keep his career alive.
But the hard-running back-rower has been an enthusiastic addition to the training paddock over the past fortnight, although the club is intent on taking a cautious approach to his return.
“He just has to get through a couple more things and tick a few more boxes to get out there (but) he’s doing everything right,” halfback Adam Reynolds said.
“The medical staff don’t want to take any chances with him so it’s still touch and go.
“He’s really excited. He loves being out training with the boys.”
While Turner has been cleared to participate in full contact sessions, Reynolds said it would take some time for his premiership-winning teammate to overcome the mental barrier in his return to the game.
“He’s in there doing everything at the moment (but) I suppose it’s a matter for Kyle to get his confidence back and making sure his neck is alright and 100 per cent ready to go,” he said.
And when he eventually does, Reynolds believes he could make a season-changing impact to a team that already boasts Glenn Stewart, Chris McQueen and John Sutton.
“Obviously with it being a serious injury, it takes a lot of confidence to come back from that,” he said.
“(But) he’s a good young kid. He has a good head on his shoulders and when he gets back I’m sure he’ll be firing.
“He was a big part of our success last year and he was growing as a player.
“It’s a shame he had that setback but he’s definitely going to be a big help when he does get back.”
After losing to Penrith 20-6 on Friday night, the Rabbitohs enjoy their second bye next week before taking on St George Illawarra the following round.