Returning Cronulla Sharks star Wade Graham could be facing a start to the season on the sidelines after picking up a left ankle injury during Monday evening's second trial victory over the Canterbury Bulldogs.
While the signs for the Sharks were overwhelmingly positive - and negative for the Bulldogs - in the 30-6 thumping at Shark Park, it was an injury for Graham which will leave new coach Craig Fitzgibbon concerned.
While he is out to move on from those issues, he left the field limping during the first half against the Bulldogs after having his ankle turning out after contact in a tackle.
Wade Graham off with a left ankle injury, video brings concern for syndesmosis injury w foot turning out due to contact in tackle. Not a super traumatic mechanism but severity can be deceiving by video - both ways. In a moon boot (doesn’t always mean severe) & will go for scans pic.twitter.com/TJyzVeX48Z
— NRL PHYSIO (@nrlphysio) February 28, 2022
The club are concerned for a syndesmosis injury, which could rule Graham out for anywhere between six and ten weeks, depending on the grade and severity of the injury.
The 31-year-old, who has played 259 NRL games - with 217 of those coming at the Sharks - will go for scans today for the injury after being pictured in a moon boot during the second half following his return to the sideline.
With Round 1 less than a fortnight away, a syndesmosis injury being concerned will mean Graham will not only miss the Sharks' opener against the Canberra Raiders, but a string of other matches during what shapes as a tricky start to the season with matches against the Parramatta Eels, Melbourne Storm and Manly Sea Eagles in the first eight weeks, as well as unknown quantities in the Newcastle Knights and St George Illawarra Dragons.