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Casualty Ward: Positive news for Dogs; ACL blow for King

Bulldogs forward Chris Smith has hope of playing again in 2020 after scans showed he didn't fully rupture his ACL while playing for the Indigenous All Stars.

Canterbury said Smith will have surgery this week and miss at least 12 weeks having suffered a partial ACL tear and a complete MCL tear.

Fullback Dallin Watene-Zelezniak was cleared of serious injury after bruising his back during the Maori team's All Stars win.

He will travel to Port Macquarie for this weekend's trial against Canberra and be assessed closer to kick-off.

Meanwhile, Titans halfback Tyrone Roberts picked up an ankle complaint in the All Stars fixture but the club said it's "nothing serious" and he will be right for round one.

Sharks back-rower Wade Graham also sustained a minor ankle injury but is hopeful of playing in this weekend's trial against Manly.

Dragons prop Josh Kerr (knee) was the other casualty out of the All Stars match and he will miss the Charity Shield against Souths.

In trial news, Sharks recruit Cameron King went down with a suspected ACL injury in the second half against the Bulldogs in Papua New Guinea.

Newcastle were soundly beaten on the scoreboard in Maitland and to make matters worse Sione Mata'utia suffered a medial ligament injury.

New signing Adam Doueihi went off in the Tigers' loss to Penrith with an upper leg injury but coach Michael Maguire after the game said Doueihi's exit was precautionary and he'd be fit for the next trial.

Having already lost Bunty Afoa for the season, the Warriors have potentially been dealt another blow to their front-row stocks with Jackson Frei injuring his knee in the trial game against the Storm.

Frei lasted just 14 minutes in Palmerston North and will sweat on scans as the Warriors prepare for their final trial against Wests Tigers next Sunday.

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

Warriors | Wests Tigers

The Casualty Ward

Five key match-ups of the Broncos' 2020 draw

Brisbane Broncos

Prop Matt Lodge has suffered a partial tear of the ACL but is confident he can return to the field this year.

The Broncos aren't expecting outside back Jordan Kahu (shoulder) to be available until May.

  • Matt Lodge (knee, TBC)
  • Jordan Kahu (shoulder, mid-season)
  • Sean O'Sullivan (knee, mid-season)
  • Keenan Palasia (knee, late season)

Five key match-ups of the Raiders' 2020 draw

Canberra Raiders

  • Curtis Scott (ankle, trials week two)
  • Hudson Young (suspension, round six)
  • John Bateman (shoulder, indefinite)
  • Sebastian Kris (extended sick leave)

Five key match-ups of the Bulldogs' 2020 draw

Canterbury Bulldogs

Inspirational captain Josh Jackson is back in non-contact skills training following surgery to fix a fractured nose and is aiming to play in the trial against Canberra.

An ankle injury forced back-rower Adam Elliott (ankle) to withdraw from the All Stars clash. He is also targeting a return against the Raiders.

Jeremy Marshall-King is doing non-contact skills but won't be brought into the main group until early March, putting him in doubt for round one.

  • Josh Jackson (fractured nose, trials week two)
  • Adam Elliott (ankle, trials week two)
  • Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (back, trials week two)
  • Jeremy Marshall-King (shoulder, round one)
  • Marcelo Montoya (knee, round one)
  • Sauaso Sue (knee, round one)
  • Raymond Faitala-Mariner (syndesmosis, early rounds)
  • Kieran Foran (shoulder, indefinite)
  • Chris Smith (knee, mid-to-late season)

Five key match-ups of the Sharks' 2020 draw

Cronulla Sharks

Hooker Cameron King went down with a suspected ruptured ACL in the trial against the Bulldogs in PNG and won't play again in 2020 if it's confirmed.

Bronson Xerri is a chance to play in the trial against Manly, but otherwise he looks on track for round one.

Andrew Fifita had an arthroscope and stem cell surgery on his knee before Christmas. The prop should be right for the Manly trial.

  • Wade Graham (ankle, trials week two)
  • Andrew Fifita (knee, trials week two)
  • Bronson Xerri (shoulder, round one)
  • Cameron King (knee, indefinite)

Five key match-ups of the Titans' 2020 draw

Gold Coast Titans

  • Ash Taylor (calf, trials week two)
  • Tyrone Roberts (ankle, trials week two/round one)
  • Moeaki Fotuaika (wrist/knee, round one)
  • Beau Fermor (knee, early-to-mid season)
  • Keegan Hipgrave (repeated concussions, indefinite)
  • Ryan James (knee, season)

Five key match-ups of the Sea Eagles' 2020 draw

Manly Sea Eagles

Forwards Jake Trbojevic and Addin Fonua-Blake are recovering from shoulder surgeries, with captain Daly Cherry-Evans telling the pair should be "close come the start of the season".

Jack Gosiewski is back in light training after having back surgery to fix a bulging disc in the off-season.

  • Curtis Sironen (foot, trials week two)
  • Albert Hopoate (knee, round one)
  • Jake Trbojevic (shoulder, round one)
  • Jack Gosiewski (back, early rounds)
  • Addin Fonua-Blake (shoulder, early rounds)
  • Taniela Paseka (ankle, round three)
  • Manase Fainu (stood down/shoulder)

Five key match-ups of the Storm's 2020 draw

Melbourne Storm

The Storm are hopeful that representative prop Christian Welch will return from an ACL injury in the first month of the season.

  • Christian Welch (knee, early rounds)

Five key match-ups of the Knights' 2020 draw

Newcastle Knights

Sione Mata'utia strained his medial ligament in the trial loss to the Dragons in Maitland and will be sent for scans.

Herman Ese'ese and Tautau Moga missed the Dragons trial with minor injuries. 

  • Herman Ese'ese (ankle, trials week two)
  • Tautau Moga (hamstring, round one)
  • Phoenix Crossland (groin, round one)
  • Bradman Best (fractured foot, round four)
  • Sione Mata'utia (knee, TBC)

Five key match-ups of the Cowboys' 2020 draw

North Queensland Cowboys

Forward Josh McGuire suffered a suspected medial ligament knee injury in North Queensland's triumphant NRL Nines campaign.

McGuire can't play in round one because of a suspension carrying over from last season but coach Paul Green expects him to be fit for round two.

Centre Justin O'Neill returned in the first trial against Brisbane after recovering from the life-threatening ruptured spleen injury he suffered last year.

  • Josh McGuire (knee, round two)

Five key match-ups of the Eels' 2020 draw

Parramatta Eels

New recruit Reagan Campbell-Gillard made a successful return from elbow surgery in the squad's trial against South Sydney last week. 

  • Waqa Blake (shoulder, round one)

Five key match-ups of the Panthers' 2020 draw

Penrith Panthers

Fullback Dylan Edwards sustained a syndesmosis tear at training and underwent surgery prior to the club's first trial match against Wests Tigers with fears he could be sidelined for up to two months.

New recruit Kurt Capewell (quad strain) should make his club debut this weekend against Parramatta.

  • James Tamou (back/foot, trials week two)
  • Kurt Capewell (quad strain, trials week two)
  • James Fisher-Harris (pectoral, trials week two)
  • Mitch Kenny (elbow, round four)
  • Dean Blore (shoulder, round six)
  • Dylan Edwards (ankle, round seven)
  • Shawn Blore (ACL, April-May)
  • Brayden McGrady (ACL, April-May)

Five key match-ups of the Rabbitohs' 2020 draw

South Sydney Rabbitohs

Representative back-rower Ethan Lowe suffered a low-grade MCL injury at the NRL Nines and should be fine for round one.

Five-eighth Cody Walker (shoulder) withdrew from the All Stars match but the Rabbitohs are hopeful he will be cleared for the Charity Shield.

Bench forward Mark Nicholls won't feature in the trials as he recovers from off-season shoulder surgery but isn't in doubt for round one.

  • Liam Knight (toe, Charity Shield)
  • Cody Walker (shoulder, Charity Shield)
  • Troy Dargan (hamstring, Charity Shield)
  • Kurt Dillon (calf/hamstring, Charity Shield)
  • Mark Nicholls (shoulder, round one)
  • Ethan Lowe (knee, round one)

Five key match-ups of the Dragons' 2020 draw

St George Illawarra Dragons

Matt Dufty has had surgery on a cheekbone fracture he suffered at the NRL Nines and along with Cameron McInnes (knee) will miss the opening weeks of the season. 

Korbin Sims was initially thought to have broken his arm but X-rays revealed no new fractures.

  • Trent Merrin (hamstring/back, Charity Shield)
  • Josh Kerr (knee, round one)
  • Korbin Sims (arm, Charity Shield)
  • Matt Dufty (cheekbone, round two)
  • Cameron McInnes (knee, round eight)
  • Jack de Belin (stood down)

Five key match-ups of the Roosters' 2020 draw

Sydney Roosters

Captain Boyd Cordner was rested from the World Club Challenge and will be available for the club's final trial against Newcastle.

  • Boyd Cordner (rested, round one)
  • Ryan Hall (knee, trials week two)
  • Billy Smith (ACL, indefinite)

Five key match-ups of the Warriors' 2020 draw


The Warriors have confirmed that prop Bunty Afoa is set to miss the entire 2020 season after rupturing his ACL at training last week.

In another blow to their front-row stocks Jackson Frei suffered a knee injury in the trial loss to the Storm in Palmerston North.

Jazz Tevaga underwent ankle surgery in early December and is set to miss the opening month of the season.

  • Peta Hiku (shoulder, round one)
  • Gerard Beale (knee, early rounds)
  • Jazz Tevaga (ankle, round five)
  • Nathaniel Roache (knee, mid-season)
  • Jackson Frei (knee, TBC)
  • Bunty Afoa (ACL, season)

Five key match-ups of the Wests Tigers' 2020 draw

Wests Tigers

Outside back Paul Momirovski suffered an ankle injury at the Nines but should be fine for the start of the season.

Prop Russell Packer's future is clouded as he battles a foot injury.

  • Paul Momirovski (ankle, round one)
  • Jacob Liddle (knee, mid-season)
  • Russell Packer (foot, indefinite)