Dolphins’ Gilbert to meet surgeon and go under knife

Joel Gould |

Dolphins lock Tom Gilbert hopes he can finally get surgery on his knee in the next fortnight.
Dolphins lock Tom Gilbert hopes he can finally get surgery on his knee in the next fortnight.

Dolphins forward Tom Gilbert hopes to finally have surgery on his injured right knee in the next fortnight and has targeted round one in 2025 for his return.

The 23-year-old ruptured an anterior cruciate ligament in February’s pre-season trial against the Warriors and developed a blood clot in his leg that later transferred to his lung, which delayed surgery.

He has since recovered fully and is now just waiting for the final tick from his surgeon.

“I am seeing the surgeon tomorrow so hopefully in the next two weeks I finally get the news I can have the surgery and get this rehab started,” Gilbert said.

“I had a clot that originally just formed in my leg. As that clot was getting better and healing it broke off and travelled to my lungs.

“Once again the medical staff did a great job in making sure I got the scans. We got on top of it and I am close to having surgery with no complications.”

Tom Gilbert.
Tom Gilbert watching the Dolphins’ opening-round loss to the Cowboys in Brisbane. (Jono Searle/AAP PHOTOS)

Gilbert said he was doing fine with his recovery, pre-surgery.

“It is a funny injury at the moment. I have been training on it, walking and all kinds of things,” he said.

“I can break out of a jog. I am definitely going to go backwards post-surgery but that is the nature of what is about to happen.”

“Round one next year is the goal (for return to play) but I want to come back to the squad and contributing. I don’t want to be a burden.” Gilbert said that “at the seven or eight month mark” of his recovery he would assess his training progress and fitness.

“They are the big questions I have to answer. What is going to make me ready for next year is having the right attitude and attacking this rehab with a good work ethic,” he said.

Gilbert has been completing a business degree and doing an internship with a club sponsor. He is also working with corporate sponsors and the coaching staff on game day around team preparation.

“It keeps me intrigued in football and keeps me learning about the name. It has kept me at ease with where I am currently,” he said.

Gilbert’s position at lock has been taken by in-form Max Plath, who he said had been “great for our team”.

The Dolphins have “TG 13” on their left sleeve each time they run out in honour of Gilbert.

“It means everything,” he said.

“It is a big decision by the club and playing group to go to that effort. It has been tough, but that gesture is never going to be lost on me in my time here at the Dolphins.”

Gilbert spoke on Tuesday at the Dolphins’ announcement of 31,000 members, a new club record.

“From a corporate point of view it is great but from a team point of view it is a testament to how we conduct ourselves on and off the field,” he said.