Sydney Roosters fans are anxiously awaiting an official update on Luke Keary after the 2018 Clive Churchill Medallist wound up in hospital following Thursday night’s brutal NRL loss to Melbourne.
Keary was discharged on Friday morning after concerns the star playmaker suffered a ruptured spleen in the 24-6 defeat at the SCG.
It’s understood the injury is not as serious as first feared but the three-times premiership winner is expected to be sidelined for at least a couple of weeks.
Their top-four position already under siege, the Roosters’ premiership defence will be hanging in the balance should they lose Keary for an extended period.
Compounding their woes, the Roosters are also sweating on injury reports on veteran utility Mitch Aubusson and young halfback Lachlan Lam.
Aubusson has a suspected broken arm, while Lam was on crutches at the Roosters’ recovery session on Friday after suffering a high ankle sprain.
The trio join a crowded casualty ward that also includes co-captain Boyd Cordner, Brett Morris, Victor Radley, Daniel Tupou, Angus Crichton and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves.
Coach Trent Robinson admits having 10 first-grade regulars sidelined is easily the biggest injury crisis he’s ever dealt with, prompting rugby league Immortal Andrew Johns to urge the Roosters to play Sonny Bill Williams off the bench against Wests Tigers next Saturday.
Fresh from being released from quarantine on Thursday afternoon, Williams joined his new teammates for the first time on Friday at their Moore Park headquarters.
“They’ve got a lot of injuries, I’d be putting him on the bench. Giving him 15 to 20 minutes. It’d be a great lift for the game,” Johns told Wide World of Sports.
While Robinson refused to blame the crippling injury toll for Thursday night’s loss, even Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy admitted the Roosters were decimated, likening the match to a M*A*S*H episode after the Storm also lost Jahrome Hughes (groin) and winger Suliasi Vunivalu (broken jaw).
Bellamy said some of the rule changes introduced this year, which Robinson claimed had increased the speed of games by up to 15 per cent, needed to be reconsidered for player safety at the end of the season.
“We decided we wanted some fatigue in the game but I’m not quite sure whether there’s too much fatigue at the moment with the amount of teams that have got a lot of injuries, and I mean a lot,” Bellamy said.
“You look at the Roosters’ list, and we’ve probably got two of our most influential players out (in Cameron Smith and Cameron Munster).
“It’s not just about fatigue and soft tissue injuries, it’s about when people get fatigue they start putting their bodies in the wrong places to make tackles or absorb the contact and you get injured from there.
“It’s something we need to look at because it was like a M*A*S*H unit tonight, there was blokes getting hurt left, right and centre.”