Dolphins’ Farnworth feared three months out and surgery

Joel Gould |

Dolphins centre Herbie Farnworth starred in Manly’s 30-24 win over the Sea Eagles.
Dolphins centre Herbie Farnworth starred in Manly’s 30-24 win over the Sea Eagles.

Dolphins strike centre Herbie Farnworth has revealed he feared facing surgery and at least three months on the sidelines when he went down with an AC joint strain last month.

The 24-year-old was brave and brilliant in his return to action in the 30-24 win over Manly on Thursday night.

Farnworth felt his right shoulder several times while lingering on the ground after heavy contact during the match, but kept bouncing back. He ran for 153m and made a season-high six tackle breaks in a powerhouse display.

He was eventually diagnosed with a grade-three AC joint strain after the round-five win over Wests Tigers, but his discomfort while leaving the field and the initial news he received in hospital were not good.

“I was in instant pain when I did it against Wests Tigers and was thinking the worst,” Farnworth said.

“I got told it would be 12-plus weeks with surgery or up to eight weeks if I didn’t. That’s what I was told at the hospital.

“I have got some good staff here and  have done well to get back in the time I did.

“It felt pretty good today and we have got the long turnaround for next’s Sunday’s game against the Tigers. I will ice it up and it should be fine.”

In the sheds Farnworth had his right shoulder strapped, a massive bruise on it and a truckload of ice applied, but brushed off the “scares” during the match.

“I was just carrying on. I got a bit of a stinger … but I was sweet,” he grinned.

The Dolphins have been the comeback kings of the NRL, fighting back from deficits against Gold Coast, Parramatta, North Queensland and now the Sea Eagles. They trailed 16-4 at one stage on Thursday night.

Farnworth was a key figure in Brisbane’s run to the grand final last year, but joined the Dolphins to play under Wayne Bennett, who was Broncos coach when he signed with the club as a teenager.

Dolphins centre Herbie Farnworth.
Dolphins centre Herbie Farnworth injured his shoulder in round five against Wests Tigers. (Jono Searle/AAP PHOTOS)

He is relishing being at his new team, with the Dolphins entrenched in the top four.

“We have just got a really tight-knit group here and good leaders with Jesse Bromwich and ‘Goat’ (Mark Nicholls). They lead the way and the boys follow suit,” Farnworth said

“It is pretty similar to how I thought it would be. Wayne is obviously a very strong leader and that shows in the way we play.

“I feel like I still have a lot to add to my game and am always trying to improve. The boys here have been doing so well.  I was out for five weeks, but they have held down the ship and ground away to get us in the top four.

“Hopefully we can stay there until finals.”

Farnworth’s return was perfect timing for the Dolphins after his replacement Tesi Niu suffered an ankle injury last week against the Cowboys.

“Tesi did a really good job for us scoring tries and coming out of yardage,” Farnworth said.

“I am not sure how long he is out for, but hopefully when he comes back we can find a spot for him.”

AAP