Schuster left off plane for Manly’s Las Vegas trip

George Clarke |

Josh Schuster will miss Manly’s round-one clash in Vegas to manage his recovery from a calf strain.
Josh Schuster will miss Manly’s round-one clash in Vegas to manage his recovery from a calf strain.

Manly have confirmed they will head to Las Vegas without Josh Schuster, after the troubled forward’s run with injury cost him a spot on the plane. 

Facing a potentially career-defining 2024 campaign, Schuster has not played in either of the Sea Eagles’ trials after an off-season plagued by calf issues, a broken finger and a bout of chickenpox. 

The Sea Eagles have opted to take a “conservative approach” with Schuster’s calf recovery, opting to leave the 22-year-old at home for their round one NRL clash against South Sydney in the US on March 3.

Manly coach Anthony Seibold said the move would allow Schuster, who will switch to the back row this season, to get himself right to play in the club’s round two meeting with the Sydney Roosters. 

“The medical staff has said that due to ongoing tightness … we’re not comfortable having him return to play and that we want to take a more conservative approach,” Seibold said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Josh is only 21 days post initial calf strain, so we won’t take him to Las Vegas.

“We will leave him here hoping that he will return in the near future, with the expectation that he will be playing again from round two.”

The Sea Eagles are confident of having journeyman prop Matt Lodge back by round eight at the latest.

Lodge suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury at the back end of last season.

“Matthew has shown some really good signs and is running well,” Seibold said.

“We will reintroduce him to basic skills on our return from Las Vegas.”

AAP