Kangaroos lock Jake Trbojevic believes he will be fit for the opening round of the 2018 Telstra Premiership season despite suffering a tournament ending injury in Friday night's World Cup victory against England.
The Manly forward has told NRL.com that he ruptured a pectoral tendon attempting to make a tackle on England prop James Graham, but the doctors believe he will be fit to play for Manly against Newcastle in the opening round of the competition next year.
An upbeat Trbojevic expects to spend three and a half months in rehabilitation, flying home from Kangaroos camp in Melbourne on Saturday afternoon in preparation for his operation in the coming days.
"I will have to have surgery and I'm looking at three to four months," Trbojevic told NRL.com before leaving camp.
"I'm pretty confident I will be right for the start of the season. I asked that question and I've been told three and a half months will be enough time to recover.
"They said it's a torn pec tendon. I don't have to push it because I have a long time. It's not like I will be missing games. I think if it was off the bone it would have been six months. I read that somewhere.
"I've spoken to Baz (Manly coach Trent Barrett) and he said 'get it all fixed up, it'll be sweet'. He's a legend, Baz."
Despite the disappointment of having his World Cup campaign brought to a premature end, Trbojevic is hellbent on taking the positives out of a rather grim situation.
However the injury is compounded by the realisation that he will have to wait to get the opportunity to represent his country alongside little brother, Tom, who will make his Kangaroos debut in Canberra against France next week.
"I'm trying to stay positive but it is disappointing to be going home but I guess that's footy," Trbojevic said.
"Especially next week, it would have been a great experience playing together with Tom for Australia but in saying that hopefully we can do it down the track.
"We love doing it for Manly so hopefully we can do it in a Kangaroos jersey in the future. But I'll be there next week in Canberra if he's there. The whole family will be."
Trbojevic suffered the injury trying to make a legs tackle on Graham in the second half of the 18-4 win against England at AAMI Park.
However he believes it wasn't the impact of the collision with Graham that caused the injury.
"I missed him," Trbojevic said.
"I hit the ground. It felt weird. I didn't think too much of it, then I made another tackle and it just didn't feel right.
"I was so happy to be in the team, especially the first game against England. That's footy I guess."