Wests Tigers suffered a double injury blow in the NRL defeat to Gold Coast Titans, including a knock for reported Leeds target Luke Brooks.
Brooks, 28, has been linked with a move to Super League, though Rhinos coach Rohan Smith appeared to pour cold water over the speculation in his weekly press conference.
Instead Brooks, who came under fire during the Tigers seven-game losing start to the season, has been offered a two-year deal to remain in the NRL according to the Daily Telegraph.
But he picked up a hamstring injury in the 28-12 loss to the Titans as he chased back on a break. He went off and watched the remainder of the game with his hamstring strapped with ice.
Coach Tim Sheens said post-match: “Losing Brooksy with a hamstring means a major reshuffle for us next week. Not 100% (on whether it’s a tear), medical staff are looking at it at the moment.
“He’s had it before, generally those things you’re losing him for three or four weeks at least, and that’s if you’re lucky and it’s not a bad rupture. I’ll have to wait until the scan and we get a full medical on it.”
Luke Brooks off with a suspected hamstring injury, textbook sprinting mechanism (“shot by a sniper”). At top end speed plenty of force to contend with, brings concern for multi-week absence for Brooks. Rough night on the injury front for the Tigers pic.twitter.com/XjsuHdeIRX
— NRL PHYSIO (@nrlphysio) June 8, 2023
Smith said of the Leeds link to Luke Brooks earlier this week: “If he was here that would be good but to my knowledge, I don’t know anything about that.”
Major issue for Blues hooker
Meanwhile, New South Wales’ State of Origin hopes were dealt a further blow with Tigers hooker Api Koroisau suffering a broken jaw.
He suffered the injury in an incident in the 15th minute involving Queensland prop Tino Fa’asuamaleaui.
Fa’asuamaleaui was put on report for dangerous contact, which could put him in doubt for Origin, and went on to put in a man of the match performance.
Tigers coach Tim Sheens refused to be drawn on the incident itself post-match, but confirmed Koroisau would be sidelined for at least six weeks.
He told NRL.com: “The jaw’s broken and badly broken. His bottom teeth are just loose. It’s going to be major surgery.
“It’s a major issue. We’re taking him home for surgery tomorrow. It’ll be minimum six weeks if he’s lucky.
“No (I’ve not seen the incident again), but I saw it from the box. It looked like an elbow to me. But I won’t make any real fuss about it until I see it.
“It is (devastating). He plays the game tough and he plays it fair. I’m not going to accuse the kid, although they put it on report, so they went back and looked at it.”
It’s not only a blow for the Tigers, but for New South Wales’ hopes of recovering from a 1-0 deficit in the State of Origin series.
The next State of Origin game takes place on June 21, while even the third game on July 12 would appear out of reach for the hooker’s return.
Blues coach Brad Fittler was on the TV coverage of the game. He said: “I’m about worried about Api Koroisau. The fact he’s in an ambulance on the way to hospital doesn’t send a good message.
“So, I wish Api all the best, and hopefully it’s not as bad as first thought or everyone thinks. Not good.”