A dejected Ben Henry leaves the field fearing the worst, a second ACL injury in as many seasons. Copyright: Shane Wenzlick/NRL Photos Credit: Shane Wenzlick/NRL Photos Copyright: Shane Wenzlick/NRL Photos
In a dressing room full of dejected faces Ben Henry stands out like a sore thumb.
Sitting on his own with ice strapped all over his left knee, he stares blankly into the distance as his teammates shower and eat their post-match meal around him.
The general mood is as gloomy as you would expect, given the team has just been dealt a 31-12 beating
at the hands of the Dragons.
But while his 16 teammates are lamenting the missed tackles, knock-ons and poor passing options that contributed to the loss, for them there is always next week to make amends. Ben Henry's woes are not likely to be forgotten so quickly.
"He has likely re-torn his ACL," Warriors doctor Simon Mayhew said after Henry left the field late in the match following an awkward fall.
"He thinks so; he said it feels the same as when he did the first one.
"The orthopaedic surgeon has had a look and agrees. I think he already knew he had done it."
It is a crushing blow to Henry, who was in his first NRL game back since tearing his ACL in the same knee last year.
If it is the case then the 22-year-old utility will miss the remainder of the 2014 season, but Mayhew said back-to-back ACL tears in the same knee wouldn't necessarily have any serious long-term consequences.
"I have worked with players who have come back from two and played. If it is an isolated ACL tear it's not a barrier to anything," Dr Mayhew said.
"There are international league, rugby and football players who have done it."
Coach Matt Elliott, who had spoken earlier in the week about his admiration for Henry, said it "wasn't looking so good" for the man he had called up to first grade following just one game in the reserve team last weekend.
"I am feeling a little bit sorry for myself here, but nowhere near the same level as Ben," Elliott said. "The other boys are really feeling for him as well."
While winger David Fusitua, who debuted in the match, was also hurting for his mate.
"Ben and I went to the same school and this is pretty stink because he has been working really hard at rehab," Fusitua said. "I have been watching him – I look up to Ben. But I am sure he will come back stronger."
Henry had earlier in the week said his knee was feeling good during training and games, with only his warm-up and warm-down routines having to be altered.
"The knee felt good during the game, but probably not so good afterwards – it felt a bit puffy," he said following a mid-week training session.
"I always have to do 10 minutes on the bike and warm up my knee before any training session. But that comes with the territory of being injured."
Henry will have an MRI scan on Monday to confirm the extent of the injury.