What’s the price of a premiership? For the Newcastle Knights, it’s the value of Trent Robinson’s signature.
Sydney Roosters hooker Jake Friend could be sidelined for two months after fracturing a forearm in his side’s 48-10 NRL win over Newcastle.
The luckless hooker looks set to miss four to eight weeks out after suffering a break where he had a screw implanted to repair a torn bicep sustained earlier in the year.
While the injury isn’t a reaggravation of the bicep rupture which kept him out for ten weeks and robbed him of a State of Origin debut, it is related.
It was just Friend’s second game back since he tore his bicep on Anzac Day and he has now been restricted to just five matches this year through a horror run with injury.
“He’s got a small fracture around the screw that re-attached the bicep,” coach Trent Robinson explained.
“He’s disappointed. We’re all disappointed because finally we got back our crew of decision-makers. We got our captains back on the field for the first time in a long time.”
The match was supposed to be just the second time this year – and the first time since Round 1 – that Robinson was able to run out his first-choice spine of Friend, James Tedesco, Luke Keary and Cooper Cronk.
But that lasted just eight minutes as Friend was taken from the field in considerable pain.
He astounded team-mates as he tried to play on for a set of six but he wisely opted for treatment.
Robinson played down the prospect of Friend missing the rest of the campaign but admitted he might not play again during the regular season rounds.
“It’s not a couple of weeks and it’s definitely not the season,” he said.
“So somewhere between that four and eight would be an uneducated guess.”
When Friend left the field, Victor Radley once again shifted to dummy-half and Robinson said he would weigh up whether to leave his lock at No.9 or bring in Sam Verrills.
“There’s a really good young kid who has played some games in Sam Verrills and there’s Victor Radley, who is now a senior player.
“And we’ve got good forward depth with Isaac Liu (concussion), who didn’t play today, and Zane Tetvano (suspension) is available next week.
“So there’s a choice around that No.9 position that we need to make for the next month at least.”