Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Thankfully, there were no injuries serious enough to rule any players out for the entirety of the 2022 NRL season coming out of the second week of trials; however, multiple players did, unfortunately, sustain an injury that will see them miss round one at the very least.
Canberra’s recruit Jamal Fogarty will be on the sidelines for the longest period, as a knee injury suffered in the Raiders clash with the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles will likely require surgery and see the former Gold Coast Titan out of action for around four months, meaning he will likely return in the green machine’s game against the Newcastle Knights in round 15 or their fixture against the St George Illawarra Dragons in round 16.
Wade Graham recently made his return to play after not appearing in the NRL since Round 14 last year through concussion protocols.
Sharks fans will now have to wait a little longer to see him play in a competitive game, as an ankle injury is expected to keep him out of action until Cronulla’s game against the Wests Tigers in round five.
Melbourne’s Cooper Johns will be missing from action until at least round three, with the half sustaining a grade three injury to his AC.
Adam Reynolds and Kobe Hetherington are in doubt for #NRL Round 1 after returning positive rapid antigen tests.
— NRL (@NRL) March 3, 2022
Jacob Liddle from the Tigers is also suspected to be out for a similar amount of time as Johns through a PCL injury suffered against the Roosters last Friday.
The Sea Eagles will head into their season opener against defending premiers the Penrith Panthers without promising star forward Haumole Olakau’atu after he injured his elbow in the club’s preseason loss to the Raiders.
At this point, it is unclear exactly when he will return.
Martin Taupau and Dylan Walker also suffered injuries to their back and ankle respectively against the Raiders, but coach Des Hasler has confirmed that they will be fit for round one.
Fans have pondered the impact that COVID-19 will have on the 2022 NRL season and the virus is having an effect immediately, as Broncos captain Adam Reynolds and hooker Kobe Hetherington will miss round one after testing positive.