Luke Keary's move into the Rabbitohs' starting side has been delayed by a shoulder injury suffered in the Auckland Nines. Copyright: Renee McKay/NRL Photos Credit: Renee McKay/NRL Photos Copyright: Renee McKay/NRL Photos
John Sutton's permanent shift into the South Sydney forward pack appears to have been given a stay of proceedings following a shoulder injury to Luke Keary on day two of the Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines.
After it was confirmed Cowboys fullback Lachlan Coote had suffered an ACL injury that is likely to sideline him for at least six months, Keary's shoulder injury was the one with the most serious repercussions on day two.
After a bright start to his NRL career in 2013 where he scored two tries in 10 top grade appearances, Keary was set to be handed the No.6 jersey by Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire for the season-opening blockbuster against the Roosters. He will now have scans upon the team's return to Sydney and is little chance of taking the field in Round 1.
Although he put Dylan Walker forward as another potential replacement at five-eighth, Sutton said he would be happy to reprise his combination with halfback Adam Reynolds that has taken the Rabbitohs to the Preliminary Final for the past two seasons.
"I've been training in the forwards all pre-season. I don't know if 'Madge' (Maguire) wants me out there. Dylan Walker has been playing a bit of halves too so he could slot into five-eighth so we'll just have to see what happens.
"I've just been doing a bit more ball movement through the middle and on the edge [during pre-season].
"It doesn't bother me. I've been playing there for years now so it wouldn't bother me but I was sort of looking forward to having a bit of a go in the forwards to see how I went, but we'll see what happens.
"I'm very disappointed that he got injured. He trained the house down all pre-season and he was one of our best players this tournament and I don't know what will happen but I think he's done his shoulder. I feel for him.
"I saw him kick a Gatorade bottle, that's about it."
On a weekend that drew 89,003 people through the gates in a glorious celebration of rugby league talent, the growing list of injuries will have some NRL clubs ruing their misfortune.
Neither Todd Carney (hamstring) nor Paul Gallen played any part for the Sharks on day two as they returned to Sydney for scans while Knights five-eighth Jarrod Mullen will have scans when he gets back to Newcastle after suffering a suspected Grade 2 tear to his hamstring.
Manly winger David Williams is facing the prospect of missing much of the 2014 Telstra Premiership as he awaits the results from scans on a knee injury and David Stagg had to be taken up the tunnel in a wheelchair after suffering a knee injury in the Broncos' win over the Eels but it is believed to be a medial ligament and not the dreaded ACL.
The news wasn't good for the Wests Tigers either with Curtis Sironen (broken foot) and Mitchell Moses (shoulder) both suffering injuries on day one that will delay their starts to the season proper, Sironen expected to be facing a six-week recovery.
The Panthers could be without the services of George Jennings who suffered a dislocated elbow in his side's quarter-final loss to the Cowboys.