Barrett optimistic on Turbo Tom's injury concerns
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles coach Trent Barrett is hopeful Tom Trbojevic will miss little to no football after the star fullback came off with an ankle injury late in his team's commanding 32-16 win over the Raiders Canberra at Lottoland on Saturday night.
Trbojevic rolled his right ankle – the same one he injured that cost him a Holden State of Origin debut last year – and looked in immediate distress before hobbling from the field around eight minutes from fulltime.
However Trbojevic – who tore Canberra apart in a dominant first half – was able to walk and put pressure on the ankle after the game, athough Fox Sports vision of him in the dressing room also revealed he had an icepack on his hamstring.
"I think he's probably the best of the three of them," Barrett said, in reference to forwards Curtis Sironen and Kelepi Tanginoa, who each picked up possible serious knee injuries earlier in the match.
"Ankle of some sort but he's getting around on it. I don't know. Fingers crossed."
Tom's brother Jake said the fullback was in good spirits.
"Nah he's sweet, he's sweet, all good," Jake Trbjevic said.
"Hopefully he's sweet to go next week but it's not too bad."
Barrett was less optimistic over his forward pair.
"More concerns probably our biggest concerns are around Siro and Kelepi. Possible ACL, MCL. We're not sure. So fingers crossed," Barrett said.
Pressed on the performance of Trbojevic – who scored one try and set up four others prior to his injury – Barrett welcomed the unique mix of size, speed and skill the fullback offers.
"I thought he was outstanding. He did what we all know he can do," Barrett said.
"If we can keep putting him in those positions, he's a very special player. The start our game was really good and our best players – Chez (Daly Cherry-Evans) and Jake and Tom – they all stood up and set the win up for us."
Getting to feature in a victorious World Cup campaign at the end of 2017 had helped boost Trbojevic's game to new levels, according to the coach.
"I think the Kangaroo tour, the World Cup was real good for him. Just being around the best players," Barrett said.
"He's getting older, he's still got a lot to learn. No doubt that he could be anything, Turbo, if he gets a bit of luck with his injuries.
"You don't get too many blokes that are that big who can run like him and know where to be. He's a big part of what we do but I thought he had a lot of teammates around him too. His brother tosses up the same good stuff every week as well. We're lucky to have the pair of them."
Cherry-Evans also had plenty of praise for the 21-year-old fullback.
"I've probably found this year more than any year, there were times last year where Tom might have made an error early in the game," the skipper said.
"This year – he obviously didn't have many tonight – but when he does make an error this season he's flushed it and it's gone and his next touch of the football is as good as it can be.
"He's come long way as a footy player and he's got so much more to learn. I'm really enjoying playing alongside of him and when he puts on a performance like tonight it's exciting to watch."