NRL casualty ward Round 11: All weekend injuries in one spot

Brisbane’s most senior prop Matt Lodge has revealed he has a torn meniscus and is racing the clock for the Broncos’ clash against the Sharks this Friday night at Suncorp Stadium.

Broncos coach Anthony Seibold was hopeful of having Lodge on deck for the Round 12 showdown with the Sharks but Lodge appears an unlikely starter as Brisbane’s injury curse continues.

Lodge sustained a partial tear of the ACL in his left knee on the eve of Round 1 in March and he suffered a fresh setback last month when he injured his right knee in Brisbane’s 30-12 loss to the Titans.

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Lodge’s forward teammate David Fifita required surgery during the COVID suspension for a torn meniscus but the hulking prop is hoping he can avoid an operation with careful rehabilitation.

Lodge says he has learned valuable lessons from his recovery from his ACL injury and won’t be rushing back this season until he has total confidence in his latest injury.

“I have a tear in the meniscus,” Lodge said.

“I don’t know if it is an old injury or not, but it has been pretty sore from the Titans game so I’m just trying to get it to settle down.

“I don’t think I will need surgery at the moment but I am trying to get it right.

“My ACL on the left side was just coming good and now my right knee is the problem.

Matt Lodge has a torn meniscus. Pic Annette DewSource:News Corp Australia

“My ACL is pretty strong now and to be honest I probably came back a bit too quickly on that injury. I didn’t get much training in before I played again and I looked a bit underdone out there.

“I need to get this one right. When you go out on the field, there are no excuses, the fans expect you to do a job regardless of injury so I want to make sure I’m ready to go.”

Lodge was carried off in the latter stages of Brisbane’s loss to the Titans and admits he has no idea when he will receive the medical green light to return.

“I haven’t locked in any game at the moment,” he said.

Matt Lodge has had a tough run with injury. Picture: Peter WallisSource:News Corp Australia

“It’s a week-to-week thing and it’s slowly getting better, but I learnt my lesson from last time rushing back.

“The tear isn’t major. It’s not like I’m cutting a big chunk of my cartilage out, it’s a good tear in that kind of way, it’s not like Dave Fifita’s, he needed surgery, so I am pretty lucky in that case.

“It may have been an old tear and I’ve re-injured it possibly and made it worse.

“When I can tick all the boxes, I will be out there, but there is no point me going out there, the game is too quick for me to be going out there at 70 per cent.”

Lodge is one of the biggest forwards in the NRL at 117kg but he dismissed suggestions his hulking frame is not suited to the quicker pace of the game under the one-referee, six-again system.

Matt Lodge has injury issues in both knees. Picture: Annette DewSource:News Corp Australia

“It’s not so much the rules, it’s more my preparation,” he said.

“I had one training session in with the team before I came back for that round-three game. I was a bit tentative and nervous and hadn’t moved around on my knee too much.

“When you cross the line, no-one cares about what you are dealing with injury-wise, you are expected to do the job and not be a liability and that’s the lesson I have learned from it.

“It’s been hard watching the guys and I haven’t been at my best for various reasons.

“Hopefully I can come back in good shape whenever that is and finish the year on a strong note.”

— Exclusive by Peter Badel

KNIGHTS DUO LIKELY GONE FOR SEASON

Newcastle is in disarray with Andrew McCullough and Connor Watson likely out for the season.

Mid-season recruit McCullough suffered a high-grade hamstring injury. Watson has a suspected achilles rupture.

Significant concern for a significant achilles injury for Connor Watson. Non-contact pushing off mechanism, even looks behind to see who “kicked” him (common feeling with achilles rupture). Will be easy test for medical staff in sheds, if confirmed surgery & 5+ months recovery pic.twitter.com/Vw36ttOQ98

Andrew McCullough off with nasty looking left hamstring injury. A few unfortunate points, up high on the hamstring & a “stretch” strain. Both require longer recovery typically, & concern for at least partial tear or tearing of tendon off the bone. Likely lengthy recovery ahead pic.twitter.com/HWO8DfkG4J

BAD BREAK FOR RAIDER

Coming into Round 11 with only 20 fit players the Canberra Raiders added another to their injury list during their win over the Rabbitohs. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad came from the field visibly shaking and clutching at his hand due to a clear open wound on his right pinky finger. It quickly became clear this was due to a compound fracture or dislocation, which occurs when a bone is so displaced it pierces the skin.

Compound dislocation or fracture of Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad’s 5th finger. Initial word is suspected dislocation.
Best case: clean dislocation, 1-3 weeks
If fractured: at least 3-4 weeks for adequate bone healing.
Hope no significant tendon involvement (8+ weeks). pic.twitter.com/wWGemBuApR

Best case here is a clean dislocation of the finger, meaning the joint dislocates with minimal surrounding soft tissue damage (tendon/ligament) and no bony fracture. If this occurs recovery is surprisingly quick, with most players able to return within 1-3 weeks. Recovery here is dictated by wound healing and risk of infection due to the open wound.

If a fracture is present or tendon damage has occurred surgery can be required, which requires at least a month recovery time to allow for adequate healing. The early assessment from the Raiders medical staff suggested a suspected dislocation and two week recovery period.

STAR SHARKS HAMSTRUNG

Hamstring injuries have been rampant in the NRL since the COVID-19 season break, with the Sharks particularly hard hit. Already without Matt Moylan and Andrew Fifita, Josh Dugan went down at training during the week and Jesse Ramien limped off in their Round 11 clash.

Thankfully Dugan’s strain was said to be minor, with the Sharks making the smart call in not risking him just three days after suffering the injury at training. He is hopeful of returning next week, and is likely a better proposition than Ramien on a short turnaround.

Similarly the medical staff suspect just a minor strain for Ramien, but with the usual return to play time of at least 10-14 days he is still in significant doubt to play the Broncos next Friday. Returning early from any hamstring injury is a risky pursuit, with high recurrence rates (up to 30%) and a longer recovery time associated with re-injuries.

Also at the Sharks, Chad Townsend limped from the field with a calf injury, and post-game coach John Morris indicated they were unsure if it was a strain or a cork. Video of the injury mechanism suggested a contusion or cork to the lateral lower leg, and as long as any fracture has been avoided this will usually result in a quick recovery of 1-2 weeks.

Thanks the messages regarding the calf. Scans tomorrow. Fingers crossed for some positive news.

Shout out to the kid Teig Wilton on a fantastic debut.

Great to get the win tonight #UpUp @Cronulla_Sharks pic.twitter.com/fkPpk5RLHK

CALF INJURY STRIKES DOWN KIKAU

Viliame Kikau was another ruled out late after suffering a training injury during the week. The Fijian edge forward pulled up with a minor calf injury, which usually would result in a return to play in 1-3 weeks. The Panthers expect him to return in Round 12.

Thankfully calf strains don’t have nearly the re-injury risk of hamstrings, but symptoms can linger with players often complaining of tightness and/or cramps in the first few weeks after their return. Meanwhile teammate Apisai Koroisau will be “given at least a couple of weeks’ rest” following an elbow injury last week.

CONCUSSIONS TAKE SERIOUS TOLL

In a horrible round for concussions Michael Chee-Kam, Ryan Matterson, Adam Doueihi, Boyd Cordner, Trent Merrin, Adam Clune and Alex Johnston all finished the weekend under the NRL’s concussion protocol.

Of particular note were the traumatic scenes immediately after Chee-Kam suffered a blow to the head, as he displayed signs of convulsion on the field. After being taken straight to hospital for further tests he was thankfully released the following morning.

The good news is despite the graphic nature of the incident, the presence of convulsions immediately following a concussion is not associated with adverse scan results or an extended recovery time. Convulsions occur when the brain is overexcited for a short time.

As severe as they appear, convulsions aren’t considered a factor when trying to classify the overall severity of a concussion, or guiding treatment and return to play. There is usually no specific treatment that is necessary beyond the normal protocols for any player who suffers concussion, so Chee Kam’s prognosis will be guided by his transition through the NRL’s concussion protocol.

It is important to remember that a concussion is an injury to the brain, and even in cases without obvious initial symptoms like convulsions the overall recovery can be still be complex and delayed.

Thank you everyone for the well wishes and all the love. Safely home and very grateful it wasn’t anything too serious
❤️❤️❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/mwqhTr0V1R

FULL NRL CASUALTY WARD

Brisbane Broncos

David Fifita (knee, round 12)

Jake Turpin (leg, round 12)

Matt Lodge (knee, round 12)

Issac Luke (suspended, round 12)

Jesse Arthars (knee, round 12-13)

Alex Glenn (knee, round 15-17)

Tesi Nui (wrist, indefinite)

Corey Oates (leg, indefinite)

Jordan Kahu (shoulder, indefinite)

Sean O’Sullivan (knee, indefinite)

Keenan Palasia (knee, indefinite)

Jack Bird (ACL, season)

Canberra Raiders

Curtis Scott (infection, round 12)

Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad (finger, TBC)

Michael Oldfield (hamstring, round 13-14)

Emre Guler (ankle, round 17-19)

Corey Horsburgh (foot, round 20)

Sia Soliola (facial fracture, finals)

John Bateman (shoulder, indefinite)

Sebastian Kris (extended sick leave)

Andre Niko (knee, season)

Josh Hodgson (knee, season)

Bailey Simonsson (shoulder, season)

Canterbury Bulldogs

Will Hopoate (ankle, round 15-16)

Joe Stimson (shoulder, season)

Adam Elliott (shoulder, season)

Cronulla Sharks

Josh Dugan (hamstring, round 12)

Chad Townsend (calf, TBC)

Jesse Ramien (hamstring, TBC)

Scott Sorensen (knee, round 12)

Briton Nikora (suspended, round 12)

Matt Moylan (hamstring, round 13)

Andrew Fifita (hamstring, round 13)

Bronson Xerri (stood down)

Cameron King (ACL, season)

Gold Coast Titans

Kevin Proctor (biceps, round 11)

Dale Copley (ankle, round 11)

Mitch Rein (knee, round 13)

AJ Brimson (back, indefinite)

Young Tonumaipea (knee, indefinite)

Ryan James (knee, season)

Jonus Pearson (pectoral, season)

Manly Sea Eagles

Morgan Boyle (groin, round 12)

Joel Thompson (ankle)

Dylan Walker (ankle, round 13)

Tom Trbojevic (hamstring, round 15-17)

Albert Hopoate (knee, indefinite)

Manase Fainu (stood down/shoulder)

Melbourne Storm

Tom Eisenhuth (hamstring, round 12-13)

Max King (Achilles, round 13-14)

Jesse Bromwich (knee, round 13-14)

Tui Kamikamica (lower back, finals)

Newcastle Knights

Andrew McCullough (hamstring, TBC)

Connor Watson (achilles/ankle, TBC)

Daniel Saifiti (knee, round 14-15)

Edrick Lee (arm, indefinite)

Tim Glasby (concussion, indefinite)

Jayden Brailey (knee, season)

North Queensland Cowboys

Jordan McLean (calf, round 12)

Connelly Lemuelu (cork, round 12)

Tom Opacic (knee, round 13)

Scott Drinkwater (knee, round 15)

Valentine Holmes (ankle, round 18-20)

Peter Hola (wrist, indefinite)

John Asiata (knee, indefinite)

Michael Morgan (shoulder, round 13)

Parramatta Eels

Ryan Matterson (concussion)

Oregon Kaufusi (broken hand, round 13-14)

Ray Stone (broken hand, round 14-15)

Kane Evans (calf, indefinite)

Peni Terepo (indefinite)

Penrith Panthers

Viliame Kikau (calf, round 12)

Zane Tetevano (lower back, round 12)

Jed Cartwright (shoulder, round 13-14)

Pat Hollis (abdominal strain, round 14)

Brian To’o (ankle, round 17)

Kurt Capewell (knee, round 17)

Apisai Koroisau (elbow, TBC)

Dylan Edwards (hamstring, TBC)

Dean Whare (thigh, TBC)

Ethan Lowe underwent surgery this week after suffering a disc injury in his neck in Round 10. No details on surgery type but metalware mentioned; could suggest fusion/disc replacement. Usual recovery time of 3-4 months if confirmed, Mitch Barnett recently returned in 15 weeks pic.twitter.com/eJ1w7uwYpH

South Sydney Rabbitohs

Latrell Mitchell (suspended, round 12)

Alex Johnston (concussion, round 12)

Campbell Graham (facial fracture, round 12-13)

Liam Knight (ankle, round 13-15)

James Roberts (pectoral, finals)

Ethan Lowe (neck, season)

Tom Amone (knee, season)

Braidon Burns (knee, season)

St George Illawarra Dragons

Brayden Wiliame (calf, round 12)

Adam Clune (head knock)

Trent Merrin (head knock)

Tariq Sims (suspended, round 12)

Jack de Belin (stood down)

Sydney Roosters

Nat Butcher (ribs, round 11)

Angus Crichton (knee, round 14-15)

Daniel Tupou (ankle, round 15)

Victor Radley (knee, season)

Sam Verrills (knee, season)

Billy Smith (knee, season)

Warriors

Adam Keighran (knee, round 11)

Wayde Egan (hip, round 12)

Nathaniel Roache (knee, round 12-14)

Leeson Ah Mau (pectoral, indefinite)

Agnatius Paasi (shoulder/compassionate leave, indefinite)

Rocco Berry (back, indefinite)

Taane Milne (knee, season)

Jackson Frei (knee, season)

Bunty Afoa (knee, season)

Selestino Ravutaumada (season)

Wests Tigers

Luke Garner (concussion, round 12)

Michael Chee-Kam (concussion, TBC)

Adam Douehi (concussion, round 12)

Alex Twal (knee, round 12)

Robert Jennings (hamstring, round 12)

Josh Reynolds (suspended, round 12)

Joey Leilua (suspended, round 13)

Jacob Liddle (knee, round 14-15)

Zane Musgrove (foot, round 16-18)

Originally published asCasualty ward: Fresh knee issue sidelines Lodge

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