The short-term playing future of South Sydney back-rower Kyle Turner is again uncertain after he suffered his seventh concussion in two years during his comeback match from neck surgery.
Turner won’t play in the Rabbitohs’ round 22 match against Manly at Brookvale on Friday, amid claims from some sections of the rugby league media the 23-year-old should retire from the NRL after suffering another head knock in Sunday’s win over Penrith.
Last season, Wests Tigers utility Liam Fulton was forced to retire from rugby league aged 29 due to repeated concussions.
Turner’s Rabbitohs teammates rallied around the representative star at a media session at Redfern on Monday.
Halfback Adam Reynolds said the same tenacity that Turner showed in coming back from a career-threatening neck injury suffered in the All Stars game in February, would put him in good stead this time around.
“It wasn’t easy to see him laying there but he is fine now, he is such a humble kid and it is good to see him in such good spirits today,” Reynolds said.
“He is telling a few jokes with the boys and he is just having a good time. He is a good kid, he will look after himself and get himself right.
“I’m sure he wouldn’t put himself out there if he wasn’t feeling right. He has the world at his feet. He has worked extremely hard to get back on the field, no doubt next time will be no different.”
Gorden Tallis said during commentary of the match against Penrith that Turner should quit the NRL.
Souths prop George Burgess said that decision was no one’s except for Turner’s.
“That is something for the individual,” Burgess said.
“It is a choice the player makes for himself, it is not something that should be influenced by any media outlet or anyone.
“It is a personal thing and a player makes that decision himself. Kyle is humble, from a small town, he is very polite, he works hard for the boys and never asks anything in return. That is why the boys like him so much.”
Turner said after the match he was looking forward to getting back on to the football field.
“I think everyone’s main concern was the neck, but all that aside, I thought it was a successful return,” he said.
“It’s all good. I’m just looking forward to playing some good football now.”
“I thought I went out there and did a fair job.
“It was a long road to get where I am now. But looking back at it now, it was a good life lesson.”