Manly face a crisis in the hooker position after scans revaled Matt Ballin suffered a broken leg on Sunday.
Premiership favourites Manly have been dealt a huge blow after scans revealed hooker Matt Ballin has suffered a fractured fibula and could miss the rest of the NRL season.
Ballin suffered the injury during the Sea Eagles’ hard-fought win over Penrith and Brookvale Oval on Sunday, playing a further 22 minutes unaware of his injury.
Manly now face a crisis in the hooker position after backup Jamie Buhrer suffered an ACL injury in the same match.
The injury’s ends Ballin’s run of 182 consecutive games for the club, and said he was disappointed to get the news after what seemed to be an innocuous injury.
“I was just in a bit of pain and didn’t really know where I was from the tackle,” Ballin said.
“As I got moving my leg was sore and I just thought it was a bit of a cork, which happen quite regularly but it didn’t seem to get better.
“I tried to stay out there until half-time but then saw the doctor and they made the call to pull me off and not go back on in the second half which was disappointing but that’s what happens. In the end, it was a really good call by them putting my safety first.”
Ballin said he was hopeful of a return during the NRL finals.
“It’s a bit disappointing coming at this time of the season but that’s the way rugby league goes and I’m sure the rest of the players who step in will do the job well,” Ballin said.
“There is five weeks left, hopefully, for the Manly Sea Eagles in the competition and these things tend to take a bit of time.
“Hopefully the boys do a great job in the next game, then the semi finals and then I can be back for some games towards the end of the year.”
The Sea Eagles can secure the minor premiership with a win over the North Queensland Cowboys in Townsville on Saturday night.