Hayne to be sidelined for 4-6 weeks
Ever the optimist, Titans coach Neil Henry was able to find a positive in the ankle injury that will keep superstar fullback Jarryd Hayne on the sidelines for more than a month.
As he ran his eye over the walking wounded at the Titans' recovery session at Parkwood on Monday, Henry ran through the list of injuries stemming from Saturday's 34-26 loss to the Knights as well as providing an update on players who could return in time to face the Eels at Cbus Super Stadium on Friday night.
Eleven players with NRL experience are on the injured list at present with William Zillman (calf), Dan Sarginson (knee) and Ryan Simpkins (rib cartilage) the three most likely to come into consideration for selection on Tuesday.
Hayne, Anthony Don and Karl Lawton (both dislocated shoulders) were all unable to finish the game against Newcastle and are facing at least a month out with the only good news the fact that Hayne would not require surgery on his ankle.
"Jarryd has got significant ligament damage but he doesn't require surgery but we're probably looking at 4-6 weeks," said Henry.
"That's the prognosis but it's not as bad as we first thought which would have meant an operation.
"With both the shoulder boys it's a bit of a wait and see. I don't think it's an operation but it's rehab so you could say 4-6 weeks possibly.
"Sometimes those things recover a bit quicker, particularly with Karl who hasn't had a shoulder problem before.
"All three won't be able to play this weekend."
Nathan Davis is healthy but he and the club have agreed that he can look to continue his career elsewhere whilst off-season recruit Daniel Vidot is still a week away from returning from a groin injury that he picked up in the trials.
Halfback Ashley Taylor, who was outstanding against the Knights, turned up to recovery with an ice pack on his knee but the bruising is not expected to stop him from facing an Eels team flying with two wins to start the season.
Conceding that the enormous injury toll is unlike anything he has seen in his close to 20 years of coaching in the NRL, Henry said the players who can take the field must somehow find a way to notch some wins in the coming month.
The Titans host the Eels, Cowboys and Raiders in the coming month and have an away trip to New Zealand and Henry said it is crucial they keep in touch with the top eight before the troops begin to return.
"I don't think I've ever had this many out this early in the season for a long time, if ever," Henry said.
"It's a tough time for the club, we know that, but we can't do anything about it. What we can control is how we play and coming up against a side in Parramatta that I think have been the benchmark.
"The guys who can play will need to step up in positions. Even when you take the injuries out of it, when you look at that first half an hour when we had everyone out on the field [against Newcastle] we still weren't playing particularly well.
"None of the injuries are season-ending at the moment so it means we just need to find a way to get a couple of wins early in the season and then look forward to players coming back."