Tigers seek help for concussion-prone Fulton
Wests Tigers coach Mick Potter has confirmed the club has discussed standing down second-rower Liam Fulton for the rest of the season after suffering his fourth concussion of the year last weekend.
Fulton came off the field in the Tigers' 23-20 win over Newcastle last Sunday and didn't return. Potter said the second-rower was certain to miss the next fortnight, however his long-term future remains in doubt as the club seeks external medical advice to decide what to do with the 12-year veteran.
"He's not going to play for a couple of weeks, and we're getting him assessed by some other external medical people so we'll just take it from there," Potter said on Thursday.
"He's feeling fine. He doesn't think he's got any symptoms, but everyone's concerned for him, as we should be. And we want him to be right to play footy.
"Our CEO [Grant Mayer] has raised [sitting him out] with me, but that's not under consideration until we get medical advice and we've got to talk to some experts on what the best way forward is."
Last week was the fourth time this year Fulton has been concussed in a game, and each time he's been forced to miss the following week. In fact, the 29-year-old has failed to finish any of the six games he's played in so far this season due to concussion or injury.
Stand-in skipper Braith Anasta said the entire club feared about their teammate's welfare.
"We don't know what's causing it or if it's going to keep happening," he said. "That's the thing – it's a bit of the unknown at the moment. We're just supporting Liam and hoping that things do get better and he gets through this tough period. Hopefully he comes through healthy."
Anasta also expressed concern on how multiple concussions would affect Fulton's life after footy.
"Fults is a larrikin, he plays it down a bit. He's a tough bugger, too. He wants to play," he said. "He's not happy about it, but he also knows he's got a wife and a daughter at home. He has to look after them as well and his welfare. He's taking it very seriously.
"When you get to the back end of your career, you're definitely thinking about quality of life after footy. Most rugby league players retire before they're 30, so there's a long way to go [for him]. He's definitely got to consider that. So do all of us."
Anasta also came off for the SCAT test last Sunday, but returned within the 15-minute timeframe and will take his place in the team for Friday night's clash against South Sydney.
The game will be a rematch of their 25-16 ambush of the Rabbitohs back in Round 3.
"They'll be coming out pretty tough because that last game was pretty well-documented that our forwards got the better of theirs and they wouldn't be happy with that. So I'm assuming they're going to come out pretty fired up and definitely trying to square the ledger," he said.