Dolphins prop Flegler could miss season: Bennett

Joel Gould |

Injured Dolphins prop Thomas Flegler could miss the rest of the season, coach Wayne Bennett said.
Injured Dolphins prop Thomas Flegler could miss the rest of the season, coach Wayne Bennett said.

Dolphins and Queensland prop Thomas Flegler may not play again this season due to the severity of an injury to his left shoulder, coach Wayne Bennett says.

Bennett confirmed to AAP on Tuesday that fullback Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow would return against Wests Tigers on Sunday after a four-week absence with a hamstring injury but had dire news on rampaging forward Flegler.

“We don’t know with Flegler. He may not play this season,” Bennett told AAP.

“It is a long way from where he is fit enough to play. The injury is very serious. He has had the injury and we all know what the consequences are.”

Bennett confirmed the issue was with nerve damage to the 24-year-old enforcer’s shoulder and reiterated that “he could, absolutely” not play again this year.

Head of performance Jeremy Hickmans told AAP earlier this month that Flegler had sustained the nerve damage after “a bad burner” in the round five clash with Wests Tigers.

“We just have to take time to get his strength back. It is a little bit of a day-by-day or week-by-week proposition,” Hickmans said.

The club has since turned to red-light therapy (RTP), which has been described as “a therapeutic technique that uses low level wavelengths of red light” and can be used to repair muscle tissues.

The loss of Flegler is immense but the Dolphins have received enormous contributions from props Jesse Bromwich, Mark Nicholls and Josh Kerr to be in the top four.

Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow.
Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow enjoys what he sees during the Dolphins’ recent clash with Newcastle. (Jason O’BRIEN/AAP PHOTOS)

The return of Tabuai-Fidow is a boost but his replacement Trai Fuller announced himself as a player of toughness and flair in his four games filling in for the man known as ‘Hammer’.

“Hammer is our fullback and he will be playing fullback this weekend,” Bennett said.

The coach said Fuller had been “tremendous” but there was no place for him in the 17 against the Tigers.

“But he will be back for us. We have got three games with our Origin players missing and he will have games there,” Bennett said.

“It also means Hammer won’t have to back up from Origin games because we are confident in (Fuller).”