Warriors flyer to miss season start
Warriors flyer Glen Fisiiahi looks likely to miss the start of the 2015 NRL campaign as he struggles to overcome nerve damage in his right shoulder.
After suffering the injury while attempting a tackle against the Sharks in Round 5 earlier this year, Fisiiahi underwent a shoulder reconstruction mid-year and remains unable to return to full training duties.
The fullback-turned-winger has struggled to regain full movement and has had to re-invent his running style as a result.
"[Recovery] is very slow for 'Fish' (Fisiiahi)," Warriors coach Andrew McFadden said.
"It's not an easy one, it's going to take time and we will see how that pans out; it could be a couple of months, it could be another six months, we don't know yet.
"It's very frustrating for him but it's good to see him back out there…it has put a smile back on his face."
Despite taking part in the entire Warriors' pre-season program to date, Fisiiahi is restricted to 'pink bib duty' having to stay out of any contact work.
As well as stalling his preparations for the upcoming season, the injury is also leaving the door wide open for someone to make Fisiiahi's right wing spot their own.
Rookie wing David Fusitu'a, who continues to recover from injury himself, remains a favourite to claim the spot after a strong first year where he scored seven tries in 12 games. New recruits Jonathan Wright and Matt Allwood are also expected to challenge.
"Right now I am just staying out of all the contact stuff which is pretty frustrating," Fisiiahi told NRL.com.
"Not being able to do all that stuff feels like you are pulling up short of doing the full session.
"Up until about a month ago I was also getting back spasms (when he ran) simply because my running technique wasn't right.
"But now I am getting stronger in my back which is helping out a lot.
"Sometimes I am still feeling uncomfortable during training, but it's just a case of me putting my hand up to call the trainers and they can pull me out.
"In a way it's a good thing [that there is competition for wing spots]. If one of us goes down the next one can fill the spot."
Since making his NRL debut in 2011 Fisiiahi has encountered more than his fair share of setbacks.
After initially struggling to nail down a regular first-grade spot he had a torrid 2013, dealing with the death of his sister before suffering a season-ending pectoral injury.
But while the current situation is frustrating, Fisiiahi says the lay-off hasn't been all bad and has given him time to refocus his priorities.
"I think I was the only one smiling when pre-season started, it was good to just get around the boys and be back on the field," the 24-year-old said.
"I appreciate being injury-free a bit more now because I know what it's like on the other side.
"I was stuck in the gym for about six months and it gets pretty lonely in there, having your own gym music tracks on repeat.
"I saw plenty of injured boys come and go and I was the last one remaining.
"Outside of footy there is some other stuff that I have sorted out and got in line, it has sort of put me in a better space."