Before his game against the Raiders Tom Trbojevic underwent elite testing on his troublesome hamstring – which revealed they were stronger than ever. His latest setback has Manly’s star fullback shattered.
Tom Trbojevic and his Manly teammates underwent elite testing on their hamstrings only days before he suffered the latest setback to his brilliant career.
The NordBord test is designed to measure eccentric and isometric hamstring strength. On both counts, Tom Trbojevic was flying.
Fat lot of good that did him. Depending on who you listen to, Tom Trbojevic will miss anywhere from four to eight weeks after damaging his left hamstring yet again, the ongoing nature of the problem a genuine concern for not only the Sea Eagles, but also his immediate family.
“He’s very frustrated,” said Manly forward Jake Trbojevic, Tom’s brother.
“We did this testing and his hamstrings are really strong. It’s just weird how it keeps happening. He worked extremely hard on it over the off-season because he had those problems.
“It (the testing) measures if you’ve got your balances between the hamstrings and his were all seemingly fine.
“It’s extremely hard to deal with at the moment.”
All manner of theories have been espoused for Tom’s repetitive hamstring problem. Immortal Andrew Johns has even suggested it may have something to do with his playing weight. Others suggest it is just plain luck.
Manly have done regular testing on their star fullback as well as other members of their squad, including the use of the NordBord system, which claims to have revolutionised hamstring strength testing.
They have taken every precaution with their No.1 yet even that hasn’t prevented another stint on the sidelines.
Brendan Elliott will fill the breach against Cronulla on Sunday afternoon at Central Coast Stadium, having done the job admirably when Trbojevic was forced from the field in the second half of their win over Canberra last weekend.
“Playing a large proportion of fullback last year really helps,” Elliott said.
“I am shattered for him (Trbojevic) and it is disappointing for the team as well. I am always in and around the (fullback) position (at training), ether opposing Tom or filling in for him.
“I am quite confident I can do a job there as I have trained there a fair bit in the past. I feel quite fit to be honest.
“I worked quite hard over the break, as we all did.”
The Sea Eagles will need to match the resolve they showed against the Raiders if they are to overcome the absence of Tom Trbojevic and Dylan Walker (foot) for the game against the Sharks.
The win over the Raiders was described by coach Des Hasler as one of the greatest in the club’s history. Against the Sharks, they will be without Tom Trbojevic and Walker from the start. Another mountain will need to be climbed.
“It’s definitely unlucky,” Jake said.
“The way he plays he plays a tough style and maybe that promotes hamstring injuries. But he has to be heavy to play the way he plays.
“He does run fast and powerful so I guess that’s some kind of cause.”
‘SHATTERED’ TURBO OPENS UP ON HAMMY HORRORS
“Shattered” Manly superstar Tom Trbojevic has vowed to “work my backside off” to overcome his latest injury setback and return for the Sea Eagles’ drive to the finals.
The results of scans Trbojevic had on his grade two hamstring strain on Monday afternoon will be known on Tuesday morning.
However, he can expect to be sidelined for at least six weeks after sustaining the injury in Manly’s courageous 14-6 win over Canberra on Sunday.
Fox Sports Stats shows the effect of the fullback’s absence on Manly will be severe.
From the start of last season, the Sea Eagles have won 14 of 18 matches with Trbojevic in the side — a success rate of 77.8 per cent.
He has also scored or set up 11 of Manly’s 16 tries this year alone.
In an exclusive interview with The Daily , Trbojevic said he and injured teammate Dylan Walker, who fractured his foot against Canberra, would rip into their rehabilitation.
“I was shattered when it happened,” Trbojevic said.
“I kind of knew straight away that there was a problem.
“I love playing footy so much, so I was gutted at not being out there to help my teammates in such a tight game.
“I don’t know just yet how many weeks I will be missing but I will be working my backside off to get back as soon as possible.
“I will get stuck into my rehab and I know Manly have the best medical staff and high-performance unit around.
“This isn’t related to any previous hamstring issues I have had but I know how to handle my recovery.
“The side is coming together really well and playing some good footy and I want to be part of it. That alone will drive me to get back as quickly as possible.
“The win over Canberra on Sunday typified the spirit we have in this side.
“It’s frustrating because we have already missed a chunk of the season through COVID and the team is going along so well. But injuries are part of footy and I will deal with it.”
Walker could miss between eight to 12 weeks in another blow for Manly coach Des Hasler. Brendan Elliot is expected to replace Trbojevic at fullback, while Lachlan Croker will fill in at five-eighth for Walker.
Big Tony “T-Rex” Williams is also an option for the Sea Eagles.
“Dylan might be out for a few weeks too but we will be cheering hard from the grandstands and doing whatever we can around the playing squad to help,” Trbojevic said.
“Some are suggesting six weeks but I really don’t know until I get my scan results back. I’m not sure who will replace me but Des has several strong options. Manly really have plenty of depth this season.”
Manly will welcome back prop Marty Taupau and winger Jorge Taufua from injury ahead of Sunday’s against Cronulla in Gosford.
Centre Moses Suli will be unavailable for at least another week.
Leading sports physio Brien Seeney suggested on social media that Trbojevic’s injury may not be as serious as first thought.
“Some silver lining for Tom Trbojevic; ice position (in Fox Sports vision) down on lower hamstring,’’ Seeney tweeted.
“As a general rule, strains higher up the hamstring near the buttock require longer recovery.
“Just have to hope no tendon involvement. Overall still an obvious concern, hopefully not as bad as it looks.
“Initial assessment from the Sea Eagles indicates Tom Trbojevic suffered a suspected grade 2 hamstring strain. Usual recovery time of 4-6 weeks, but no doubt considering Turbo’s injury history, 6 weeks is considered the early recovery estimate. Scans to confirm.”
Trbojevic had been terrorising Canberra’s right side on Sunday before the injury.
“We are going to miss him, but I guess the silver lining is there isn’t much we can do and we did a little bit of it last year without him,” Manly skipper Daly Cherry-Evans said.
“I really hope it is not too bad and I feel real bad as a teammate.”