Farnworth limps off at training as Dolphins hold breath

Joel Gould |

Dolphins star Herbie Farnworth has limped out of training with a knee injury and did not return.
Dolphins star Herbie Farnworth has limped out of training with a knee injury and did not return.

Star Dolphins centre Herbie Farnworth has limped off the training field with a knee injury.

The extent of Tuesday’s setback is yet to be determined but the England international is not a player they can afford to be without in the wake of losing Queensland forward Tom Gilbert to a season-ending knee injury.

The Dolphins have told AAP that Farnworth sustained “a bump” during training and did not return and do not believe it is a ligament injury at this stage.

Gilbert tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in a non-contact situation during their trial with the Warriors in Auckland on Saturday.

Farnworth’s injury was not of the non-contact variety, which are the most concerning.

Harley Smith-Shields and Herbie Farnworth.
Herbie Farnworth tries to beat a Titans defender in a recent trial on the Sunshine Coast. (Darren England/AAP PHOTOS)

Dolphins prop Jarrod Wallace said the club had the depth to cover the former Brisbane Broncos gun if he had a stint on the sidelines. The Dolphins play their opening game of the season against North Queensland on March 10 at Suncorp Stadium.

Jake Averillo, Tesi Niu, Valynce Te Whare and Euan Aitken can all play centre.

“I’m sure (Farnworth) will be fine. He is a bit of a princess after being named number one on the NRL” hottest list,” Wallace quipped, while admitting he hadn’t seen Farnworth limp off.

“He will put some ice on it and be back on Thursday at training.

“We do have almost two weeks before that round one game. We have four or five players who can play in every position which is something we lacked last year.”

Wallace said the loss of Gilbert was a huge blow.

“I saw him after the game and he is pretty shattered. He is such a big part of our team and a big voice,” Wallace said.

“He is one of the most mentally strong, hard working players I have ever been with and I know that coming back from something like this is going to be soul crushing for a week or so but he will be back and raring to go next year.

“He will still be with the squad, rehabbing and doing all of his training and recovery with all of us. The boys will be keeping him up.”

Tom Gilbert.
Tom Gilbert during a 2023 Dolphins training session in Brisbane. (Darren England/AAP PHOTOS)

Wallace said it was up to the players filling in for Gilbert to lift.

The Dolphins have Ray Stone, Kenny Bromwich, Thomas Flegler or even Wallace himself who could fill the breach.

“The way we can support Tom is to do well on the field,” Wallace said.

“That is what he wants us to do – to get out there and play hard and do everything that he would do if he was out there.

“Whoever does fill that position next week has got to make sure they do the job.

“The depth that we have is crazy. Wayne (Bennett) has got one of the hardest decisions.”