One month in and NRL comp already hit hard by injuries

THE NRL season may be less than a month old, but several clubs are already reeling from injuries to key players, including some who have already undergone surgery.

Brisbane forward recruit James Gavet, suspended for three games in the opening round of the season, will now sit out the year after going under the knife yesterday to repair an ACL he ruptured at training.

Penrith playmaker Jamie Soward has had surgery on his back and is expected to miss up to six weeks, while dynamic Rabbitohs centre Dylan Walker is set for a month out after fracturing the third metacarpal in his hand during his team's 20-6 win over the Wests Tigers.

Manly stars Jamie Lyon (leg) and Steve Matai (shoulder), Newcastle pair Jarrod Mullen (neck) and Dane Gagai (knee), Wests Tigers and NSW Origin prop Aaron Woods (knee) and Warriors fullback Sam Tomkins (knee) were all part of a heavy round-three injury toll.

Parramatta, already devastated by a string of injuries and a nine-week suspension to forward Junior Paulo, have another three players, hookers Nathan Peats and Isaac De Gois and fullback Will Hopoate, all undergoing concussion testing before being cleared to play in Friday night's feature game against South Sydney.

Eels coach Brad Arthur was grilled about the decision to send the players back on the field against the Warriors and NRL head of football Todd Greenberg said clubs would cop "heavy fines" if they jeopardised player welfare.

"The last thing anyone wants to see is players put at risk by being sent back on the field when they should be taken out of the game, assessed and treated," Greenberg said.



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