Stewart out for up to five months

Manly fullback star Brett Stewart will undergo surgery next week on his left knee and will be sidelined for up to five months.

Stewart received the shattering news late last night and coach Des Hasler announced the extent of the injury to the media at the club’s training headquarters at the Sydney Academy of Sport at Narrabeen.

Stewart attended a team meeting where his team mates were informed of the extent of his injury sustained in making a try saving tackle on Wests Tigers winger Lote Tuqiri late in Monday night’s match at the Sydney Football Stadium.

“It a shattering blow to Brett personally and us as a club but we have to be positive and he is being positive despite his recent run of bad luck.

“We proved we can win matches without him last season and we can do it again. It’s not the end of the world by any means but it would be ridiculous not to suggest he won’t be missed – he is a champion player,” Hasler said.

The injury is identical to the one he sustained on his right knee last season and sidelined him from round five until round 25.

Stewart has told team mates he will be back on the field with them inside five months.

“He has set himself round 20 and it is good he is setting himself goals,” said CEO Graham Lowe.

“The Manly club knows how much of a fighter Brett is and he will be given the best of medical and rehabilitation support to get himself back where he belongs as soon as possible.

“He has been through it before and knows what to expect,” Lowe said.