Manly fullback Tom Trbojevic has flown to Melbourne to undergo exhaustive testing of his hamstrings and he has been joined by five-eighth Kieran Foran as the pair lean on local and overseas experts to consign their injury problems to the past.
The Australian understands that Trbojevic and Foran flew out on Saturday to spend five days with doctors who specialise in hamstring injuries, the plan for the pair to undergo rigorous testing which will he shared with experts from the University of Wisconsin in America.
The University of Wisconsin was given a grant by the National Basketball Association (NBA) three years ago to identify risk factors for hamstring injury in athletes. A handful of NRL players have headed to Melbourne in recent years to work with high performance specialists at the Australian Catholic University, most notably Wests Tigers five-eighth Josh Reynolds and Cronulla pivot Matt Moylan.
Trbojevic and Foran will undergo an extensive battery of tests as they look to bounce back from a demoralising 2020. They will also work with specialists on their preparation and management of their hamstrings as part of a program that see them alternating test days with rest days.
Trbojevic missed large chunks of the season for Manly, and then State of Origin for NSW, with hamstring and shoulder problems. Foran likewise missed the latter stages of the 2020 season with a torn pectoral, although he has had hamstring issues in the past.
Over the course of his career, he has missed more than three months with ongoing hamstring problems and the hope is that by seeing the doctors in Melbourne, and working in tandem with overseas experts, he and Trbojevic can plot a path forward free of injury.
Manly’s season may depend on it. Trbojevic is regraded as the most important player at Manly, even accounting for captain Daly Cherry-Evans.
When he succumbed to injury last season, the Sea Eagles laboured. If they can get him back and firing, most experts would have Manly among the contenders to win the competition such is the potency he adds to Manly’s attack.
Foran will also help on that front. The 30-year-old won a premiership nine years ago alongside Cherry-Evans and while he has been plagued with injury since leaving Manly at the end of 2015, there is hope that his return will ease the burden on the Sea Eagles halfback and once again make the club a realistic premiership threat.
“I think it is more Des (Hasler) wanting to tick every box,” Foran said of the trip to Melbourne.
“I have pretty much done one (hamstring) every year. As soon as the borders open, it was about trying to go down there and see what they could pick up on.’
Foran and Trbojevic will resume training with the remainder of the squad when they return from Melbourne.
“I have been going in a couple of days a week for the last few weeks, getting the ball rolling with the pec and getting the body moving,” Foran said.
“I will probably start contact in January I reckon.”
Trbojevic underwent pre-season testing on his hamstring this year that revealed it was as strong as ever. Yet, that didn’t stop him suffering a torn hamstring against Canberra – his third tear in 16 months. Manly’s season went south when he was forced to the sidelines.
Manly officials and Trbojevic himself were scratching their heads at the outcome and as a result, they have gone looking for answers.