SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 31: Tom Trbojevic of the Sea Eagles looks on from the dugout after injuring his pectorial during the round 24 NRL match between the Manly Sea Eagles and the Melbourne Storm at Lottoland on August 31, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

The Manly Sea Eagles will be sweating on a quicker than expected recovery for superstar fullback Tom Trbojevic.

While the club released an official statement this morning suggesting Trbojevic had avoided serious injury from contact to the cheekbone last night, it's now been revealed the injury is worse than first thought.

It was said by the club that a plate which had been inserted to help heal an old facial fracture prevented Trbojevic from suffering a serious injury last night.

SEE ALSO: Manly's initial injury report on Trbojevic

He was taken from the field with six minutes to play during the Sea Eagles' monstrous victory over the Parramatta Eels.

While the club are yet to officially comment on Trbojevic and whether the injury problem is more serious than first revealed, the Daily Telegraph's Dean Ritchie has said Trbojevic has fractured his cheekbone and will be scrambling to make it back in time for the finals.

NRL Physio revealed Trbojevic's fracture is most likely "minor" in nature, and that he could be back in two weeks, but was more likely to return in three to five weeks.

Trbojevic may be slow to return given a previous injury, although the impact of a plate already being inserted is unclear.

The superstar fullback has been the game's form player this season, with Manly losing just three games while he has been in the team, a trend which has followed the Sea Eagles over the last two years.

The injury to Trbojevic, if confirmed, potentially throws the Sea Eagles into all sorts of bother in their push for the top four, despite now being ahead of the Parramatta Eels on for and against, and just two points behind the currently fourth-placed Sydney Roosters.

Manly's run home is fairly straightforward, with matches against the Canberra Raiders, Canterbury Bulldogs and the North Queensland Cowboys, however, their form without Trbojevic in the last 24 months has been poor to say the least.

MUDGEE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 17: Tom Trbojevic of the Sea Eagles scores a try during the round six NRL match between the Manly Sea Eagles and the Gold Coast Titans at Glen Willow Sporting Complex, on April 17, 2021, in Mudgee, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

With three weeks to go, it's thought Trbojevic will be held back until the finals, with almost no need to rush him back, unless it came down to a final-round shootout for a spot in the top four and to receive the prized second chance.

Reuben Garrick, who scored a hat-trick in last night's huge victory, is most likely to shift to fullback while Trbojevic is out, although Des Hasler may also opt for stability by bringing bench utility Dylan Walker into the side.

 

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