Vodafone Warriors wing Manu Vatuvei faces a recovery period of five months after a shoulder operation he's scheduled to have this week.
The 29-year-old try-scoring record holder injured his right shoulder late in the June 27 clash against Canberra leaving him sidelined for the club’s matches against Melbourne, the Sydney Roosters and Manly.
He returned against Cronulla on August 1 but was forced off the field when he re-injured the shoulder 60 minutes into the Vodafone Warriors’ enciunter with St George Illawarra on August 8.
Vatuvei’s 12th NRL campaign has ended prematurely with 11 tries in 16 appearances, the fewest games he has played in a season since his second year in the competition in 2005 when he featured in 12 games.
With three games to go, he remains top equal with centre Solomone Kata on the club’s try-scoring list this season.
During the year Vatuvei achieved two more major milestones; first he topped Nigel Vagana’s record for the most tries by a New Zealander in the NRL – he now has 146 tries – and he also became the first player in the competition’s history to score 10 tries or more in 10 consecutive seasons.
While Vatuvei is out for the season, second rower Bodene Thompson has been cleared from the ankle injury which forced him to miss the Vodafone Warriors’ last three games.
NRL REHAB ROOM
Glen Fisiiahi (knee) | Round 25-26
David Fusitu'a (knee) | Round 25-26
Ben Henry (knee) | Season
Shaun Johnson (ankle) | Season
Ngani Laumape (knee) | Season
Thomas Leuluai (knee) | Season
Manu Vatuvei (shoulder) | Season