Dolphins confirm Gilbert ACL as Fermor offers support

Joel Gould |

Dolphins forward Tom Gilbert will miss the 2024 season with an ACL rupture, scans have confirmed.
Dolphins forward Tom Gilbert will miss the 2024 season with an ACL rupture, scans have confirmed.

The Dolphins have confirmed a season-ending knee injury for forward Tom Gilbert, who has received words of encouragement from Gold Coast’s Beau Fermor who understands his pain.

Gilbert sustained the injury in the trial loss to the Warriors in Auckland on Saturday and scans on Monday confirmed a rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee.

The 23-year-old Queensland forward was playing his second trial after recovering from shoulder surgery for an injury that kept him out of action for more than half of last season.

“Tom is now effectively out for the 2024 season because of this injury, which generally requires a nine to twelve month rehab period,” Dolphins head of performance Jeremy Hickmans said.

“On a positive note, he has already shown us how dedicated he is and that he is willing to go to all lengths through a long rehabilitation with his comeback from last year’s shoulder surgery.

“I have no doubt he will replicate those efforts and be back ready to go for the 2025 season.”

Titans forward Beau Fermor suffered his second ACL rupture in four years in last year’s pre-season. He played his first game back in the trial loss to Parramatta on Sunday and said he was saddened by Gilbert’s injury.

Tom Gilbert is tackled by Beau Fermor.
The Dolphins’ Tom Gilbert is tackled by good friend and Gold Coast Titans rival Beau Fermor. (Darren England/AAP PHOTOS)

“I am pretty close to Tommy and have been through Origin camps with him,” Fermor said.

“I was watching the game and I was devastated for him. Obviously he was coming off a long shoulder injury. You never want to see people injured or injured back-to-back.

“I will be sending him a message tonight to see if he is OK and he can shoot me any questions that he has.”

Fermor said he had no doubt Gilbert would bounce back better than ever.

“He is the type of person who works really, really hard so I don’t think he will be leaving a stone unturned in his rehab,” Fermor said.

“It is going to be a tough time – missing half of last year and potentially all of this year – but the type of person he is I guarantee he will be back playing his best next year.”

Gilbert is one of the game’s leading forwards and will be sorely missed but the Dolphins have Ray Stone as a ready made replacement at lock. Kenny Bromwich, now more of a middle forward than a back-rower, and versatile max Plath are other options.

Meanwhile St George Illawarra received good news on forwards Jacob Liddle and Blake Lawrie, who failed to finish their trial win over Wests Tigers. Both are aiming to play round one against Gold Coast after Lawrie suffered rib cartilage damage and Liddle picked up a low-grade hamstring injury.