Flanagan won't release Hodkinson to 'look after' Sea Eagles
Trent Hodkinson will see out his 12-month contract at Cronulla after coach Shane Flanagan made it clear he would not be helping injury-riddled Manly in their hour of need.
The Sea Eagles are reportedly keen to lure the former NSW Blues halfback back to the club, where he made his debut in 2010 and grabbed his first representative jersey (City Origin) that same year.
Manly lost five-eighth Lachlan Croker last week to a season-ending knee injury, while back-up playmaker Jackson Hastings has been playing in the Intrust Super Premiership due to conflicts with a number of players, namely Sea Eagles skipper Daly Cherry-Evans.
Hodkinson signed with the Sharks this season after Newcastle signed Mitchell Pearce. Manly had a stab for Hodkinson in the off-season but had to back away due to salary cap restraints.
Of the four games in which he has appeared this season, the Sharks have won two and lost two.
The 29-year-old playmaker has been listed among the reserves as a back-up for starting halves Matt Moylan and Chad Townsend for Saturday's clash with Parramatta.
''We've had some inquiries about him possibly moving to Manly. Trent has done a really good job for us," Flanagan said.
''It's not my job to look after Manly. It's my job to look after the Cronulla Sharks.
''I won't be releasing him for this year. If something happened ... if Trent came and knocked on my door and said 'I've got a long-term deal somewhere else, can I go,' then we'll consider it. But I'm not here to look after Manly.''
Flanagan also buried speculation the club would re-acquire former Sharks half Todd Carney.
Carney was shown the door by the Sharks in 2014 after alcohol-related incidents.
''I can definitely put a line through Todd,'' he said.
''I don't know where that came from. It was more his manager contacting the Newtown Jets. But that's been squashed definitely.''
Flanagan turned his attention to his own injury-affected team after fullback Josh Dugan broke a bone in his foot last weekend.
Valentine Holmes is back at No.1 but Flanagan might have to find a new bench utility after Jayson Bukuya was hospitalised with a virus and is only a ''50-50 chance'' of suiting up.
Bukuya isn't the only Shark to be affected but he is the most serious case and has been receiving antibiotics through an intravenous drip.
''We've had a bit of a virus run through the club and he's still in hospital at the moment,'' Flanagan said. ''It happens in all clubs. With players, the fitter they are, the easier it is to come down with an illness.
"He hasn't eaten for a couple of days so we'll see what happens over the next 24 hours with him.
''Matty Prior was in a similar situation last week, so we'll give [Bukuya] every chance."
Prior checked himself out of hospital the day before last Saturday's match against the Gold Coast and flew up to Cbus Stadium by himself to play.
Wade Graham (hamstring) trained strongly on Friday and is set to return after a two-week absence, although he was a late withdrawal against the Titans due to muscle tightness.
Paul Gallen (knee ligaments) trained on Friday for the first time but is still a couple of weeks away, while Luke Lewis (calf) looks like he will need the full six weeks to recover.
''He's probably three weeks away,'' Flanagan said.
''It was a four to six-week injury so he's halfway through his recovery at the moment.''