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Turbo's still a massive part of our team: DCE

As Tom Trbojevic struggles to come to grips with the realisation his season is over, his Manly team-mates have rallied to ensure he remains part of their plans and part of their family.

The champion fullback cut a forlorn figure as he left CommBank Stadium nursing a dislocated shoulder and the controversial finish to the match would have done little to improve his mood.

Sitting 10th on the ladder with a 5-6 record the Sea Eagles must regroup quickly ahead of a daunting away trip to Melbourne on Thursday.

“It’s understandable that people have an opinion on rugby league and agendas get driven that Manly can’t win without Tom, but the most important opinions are the ones inside our four walls,” said skipper Daly Cherry-Evans.

“Our coaching staff haven’t lost hope and our players certainly haven’t lost hope and we’re excited for Reuben [Garrick] to get into that role and myself and Foz [Kieran Foran] have spoken and we’re excited about the more hands-on role we can take.

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“As the halfback and an older player in the side I understand the impact [Tom’s injuries] have had on our side over the past 18 months but our job is to focus on what we can do to help the side now.

“It’s really important we communicate and get on the same page because we still believe we can go ahead and play finals.”

If the Sea Eagles are to push on and make the eight without their No.1 gun much will rely on senior men Cherry-Evans and Foran, who lines up for his 250th NRL game on Thursday.

Having dealt with his own injury demons during his 14-year career, Foran knows all too well the challenges Trbojevic faces to get his body right and return to his dynamic best.

“I’m just gutted for Tom. He’s a guy that’s puts the club first, puts his team-mates first and it sums up his character that he hurt himself saving a try for his team [against the Eels],” Foran said.

“He deserves a run of good luck. I’ve seen first-hand just how hard he works on himself every single day. He’s relentless with it, he doesn’t stop, he wants to be ready to go.

“We speak on a weekly basis about what we need to do for our bodies to get right each week. He’s a phenomenal athlete, Tommy, and he works extremely and he’ll come out the other side stronger.

“Tommy is such a mentally strong individual I know he’ll be able to bounce back. He’s already come back from so much.

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“I’ll be there as a lifelong friend for Tommy and I have nothing but huge respect for the guy.”

With Manly coach Des Hasler confirming on Wednesday that Trbojevic was headed into surgery and would have to set his sights on 2023, the 25-year-old will need his football family around him but Cherry-Evans said “he definitely doesn’t want sympathy”.

“He doesn’t want anyone to feel sorry for him and that’s just a sign of the toughness him and his family have,” the skipper said.

“It’s pretty amazing to see that during times of adversity throughout their careers they don’t put their hands out for anything they just go back to what works for them and that’s working hard.

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“I respect that but I do hope that Tom knows he is very much a part of the team even though he is injured.

“He’ll be a part of the team once he gets the shoulder fixed up and a massive part behind the scenes of the style of footy we can play.

“Tom is a senior player in our side and his opinion does mean a lot and I’ll be asking him for advice on how we are playing and trends he might notice in other teams that he can maybe help us pull them apart at some stage. He’s an extremely intelligent as a footy player.”

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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