The New Zealand Warriors decision to allow Matt Lodge to leave the club is suddenly looking a whole lot worse, with the club hinting at a long-term foot injury for star prop Addin Fonua-Blake.
While the exact severity of the injury or time he may need to spend on the sidelines wasn't revealed, it has been reported Fonua-Blake has suffered a lisfranc injury.
That could be enough to rule him out for the remainder of the season, with other players commonly struggling to return to full fitness within the specified recovery time for the injury.
Fonua-Blake was missing from the Warriors' team list on Tuesday afternoon, which was named to take on the Newcastle Knights this Saturday in Redcliffe.
A simple line in the club's release summed up their front row issues.
"Fonua-Blake has a foot injury which could keep him out long-term while Lodge was released last Friday," the statement read.
In what will be one of the struggling club's final home games before they begin to play in Auckland again, Fonua-Blake was replaced in the front row by Jazz Tevaga, with the starting middle third finished by Ben Murdoch-Masila and Jack Murchie, although Tohu Harris will likely swap with Murchie again as the duo did last week for the clash against the St George Illawarra Dragons.
According to The NRL Physio, Fonua-Blake's injury could be a lisfranc injury, which were the original concerns out of the Dragons game.
Update from the Warriors is Addin Fonua-Blake “has a foot injury which could keep him out long-term.” Considering initial Lisfranc injury concerns this makes sense - often referred to as the “ACL of the foot.” No confirmation but if surgery required would be 3+ months recovery
— NRL PHYSIO (@nrlphysio) May 24, 2022
The loss to the Red V at Kogarah last week has left the Warriors with just four wins from 11 games, and while they are only two points out of the top eight, they follow the Knights game with tough clashes against the Manly Sea Eagles, Cronulla Sharks and Penrith Panthers, which could put the top eight well beyond them.
It's understood the club are still waiting for scans and specialist advice on Fonua-Blake.
Time for Nathan Brown to get on the phone to Craig Fitzgibbon and ask if the Sharks can loan him Franklyn Pele until the end of the regular season.
Pele would benefit from NRL first team experience and he can’t crack it at the Sharks yet, even with Finucane and Hamlyn-Uele out injured.
Could be a Win-Win for both clubs.
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