Cowboys centre Justin O’Neill is nearly back to full fitness after recovering from a life-threatening ruptured spleen injury.

After rupturing his spleen in the round 11 clash with the Raiders this year, O’Neill spent four days in intensive care in a Canberra hospital after emergency surgery - which included three blood transfusions - saved his life.

O’Neill spent several weeks after surgery in Canberra before returning home to Townsville and beginning a rehab process that will soon have him in full contact again.

"Now it is finally good to be back doing skills and some controlled contact. I’ve just got to get cleared for contact and I’ll be ready to go again in the next month.

"It is all about ticking off all the boxes and taking the road to recovery the right way and not rushing anything."

Meanwhile, the Warriors have received a boost as they prepare for 2020 with international second-rower Tohu Harris and rising centre Patrick Herbert back in full training.

Harris sat out the last 11 matches of 2019 with a foot injury, while Herbert's debut season was curtailed after eight appearances due to a leg problem late in the year.

"It's more about just progressing slowly and making sure it's 100% before I get into the season."

Your club's Casualty Ward: Broncos
 Bulldogs | Sharks | Titans 
Sea Eagles 
| Storm | Knights | Eels
Cowboys |
Rabbitohs | Dragons | Roosters

Warriors | Wests Tigers

The Casualty Ward

Brisbane Broncos

Broncos forward Keenan Palasia has undergone surgery after suffering an ACL injury at training.

The 22-year-old had surgery in November and will not be available for Brisbane until late in the 2020 season at the earliest.

  • Richie Kennar (shoulder, trials)
  • Jack Bird (knee, round one)
  • Jordan Kahu (shoulder, round one)
  • Sean O'Sullivan (knee, mid-2020 season)
  • Keenan Palasia (knee, late-2020 season)

Canberra Raiders

New recruit Curtis Scott underwent surgery for a syndesmosis injury suffered playing for the Australian Prime Minister's XIII side in October. He's expected to resume full training after the Christmas break. 

The Raiders' big effort to reach the 2019 NRL grand final will see Hudson Young's return date from suspension pencilled in for round six next season against the Knights. 

  • Michael Oldfield (shoulder, pre-season)
  • Curtis Scott (ankle, trials)
  • Hudson Young (suspension, round six)

Canterbury Bulldogs

Kieran Foran is expected to miss the entire 2020 season after undergoing two reconstructive surgeries on the shoulder he injured while playing for the Kiwis in October. 

Kerrod Holland also underwent long-term shoulder surgery and is expected to spend most of his summer in rehabilitation. 

  • Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (knee, pre-season)
  • Marcelo Montoya (knee, pre-season) 
  • Kerrod Holland (shoulder, round one)
  • Sauaso Sue (knee, round one)
  • Renouf To’omaga (foot, round one)
  • Kieran Foran (shoulder, indefinite)

Cronulla Sharks

Young gun centre Bronson Xerri underwent a shoulder reconstruction in October and has already returned to limited training with the squad before Christmas. 

He's unlikely for the trials but pushing for a return in round one against the Rabbitohs in March. 

  • Bronson Xerri (shoulder, round one)

Gold Coast Titans

Shannon Boyd, Dale Copley and Ioane Seiuli all underwent shoulder reconstructions in their break and will spend the first half of the pre-season in rehabilitation. 

Influential forward Ryan James remains on track for a round one return following an ACL injury.

Rising prop Moeaki Fotuaika had wrist and knee surgery over the break and along with Tyrone Roberts (achilles) will be managed through the summer. 

  • Tyrone Roberts (achilles, pre-season)
  • Dale Copley (shoulder, round one)
  • Shannon Boyd (shoulder, round one)
  • Moeaki Fotuaika (wrist/knee, round one)
  • Ryan James (knee, round one)

Manly Sea Eagles

Sea Eagles forwards Jake Trbojevic and Addin Fonua-Blake will both sit out the entire summer with shoulder surgery expected to rule them out of the opening rounds of 2020.

Joel Thompson suffered a freak accident in the off-season but is on track for the trials after returning to training in December. 

  • Morgan Boyle (shoulder, pre-season)
  • Taniela Paseka (knee, pre-season)
  • Curtis Sironen (foot, trials)
  • Tom Trbojevic (pectoral, trials)
  • Joel Thompson (arm/neck, trials)
  • Albert Hopoate (knee, round one)
  • Jake Trbojevic (shoulder, early rounds 2020)
  • Addin Fonua-Blake (shoulder, early rounds 2020)
  • Manase Fainu (stood down)

Melbourne Storm

  • Christian Welch (knee, round one)

Newcastle Knights

Mason Lino and Beau Fermor are the only two players with setbacks for the club ahead of the 2020 season. Lino underwent a shoulder reconstruction in September with the playmaker racing the clock to be fit for round one.

Fermor won't be due back until the middle of next year. David Klemmer won't undergo surgery for an ongoing wrist complaint and returned in late November.

  • Mason Lino (shoulder, round one)
  • Beau Fermor (knee, mid-2020 season)

North Queensland Cowboys

New recruit Esan Marsters underwent an ankle cleanout but is adamant he'll be fit for the club's trials in February. 

  • Justin O'Neill (spleen, pre-season)
  • Ben Hampton (biceps, trials)
  • Esan Marsters (ankle, trials)
  • Mitch Dunn (shoulder, round one)

Parramatta Eels

  • Reagan Campbell-Gillard (elbow, pre-season)
  • Maika Sivo (hand, pre-season)
  • Waqa Blake (shoulder, round one)

Penrith Panthers

Nathan Cleary is expected to return to full training in January after undergoing toe surgery in the off-season. Mitch Kenny, Jack Hetherington and Caleb Aekins are back in training after setbacks. Isaah Yeo and James Fisher-Harris should be fit for round one. 

  • Mitch Kenny (elbow, pre-season)
  • Jack Hetherington (sternum, pre-season)
  • Caleb Aekins (foot, pre-season)
  • Nathan Cleary (toe, trials)
  • Jed Cartwright (shoulder, trials)
  • Isaah Yeo (shoulder, round one)
  • James Fisher-Harris (pectoral, round one)
  • Tyrone May (stood down)

South Sydney Rabbitohs

  • James Roberts (thumb, pre-season)
  • Braidon Burns (hamstring, trials)

St George Illawarra Dragons

  • Tariq Sims (groin, pre-season)
  • Jason Saab (shoulder/foot, pre-season)
  • Cameron McInnes (leg, trials)
  • Jack de Belin (stood down)

Sydney Roosters

Ryan Hall is set to miss the entire 2020 pre-season after undergoing surgery this week for a second dislocation of his knee.  

Hall suffered the injury while representing Great Britain and his rehabilitation is expected to take up to four months. 

  • Luke Keary (ankle, pre-season)
  • Mitchell Aubusson (knee, pre-season)
  • Isaac Liu (knee, pre-season)
  • Ryan Hall (knee, round one)


Wayde Egan underwent shoulder surgery in September while still at the Panthers but all indications are he will be good to go for the trial games at his new club. 

  • Chanel Harris-Tavita (wrist, trials)
  • Sam Lisone (shoulder/chest, trials)
  • Wayde Egan (shoulder, round one)
  • Peta Hiku (shoulder, round one)
  • Gerard Beale (knee, early rounds)
  • Karl Lawton (shoulder, early rounds)
  • Nathaniel Roache (knee, mid-season)

Wests Tigers

  • Moses Mbye (hip, pre-season)
  • Russell Packer (foot, pre-season)
  • Josh Aloiai (hand, pre-season)
  • Jacob Liddle (knee, mid-2020 season)