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Foran’s 250th can inspire hurt Trbojevic

Kieran Foran wants his own long injury battles to serve as proof Tom Trbojevic can forge out a long and successful career at Manly after shoulder surgery.

Foran will play in his 250th NRL match on Thursday night against Melbourne, after a career that at times looked set to be ended early by constant injury woes.

The 31-year-old could still reach the 300 mark on his move to the Gold Coast, despite admitting he at times thought he would never get back on the park.

It’s the kind of inspiration Trbojevic could benefit from.

The superstar fullback is weighing up surgery options on his shoulder, but his season is over.

It continues a wretched run of injuries for the 25-year-old, whose tally of missed games through injury since the start of 2019 will reach 50 in 2022.

Notably the majority of his recent injuries have not been linked, with his shoulder dislocation highlighting the unlucky nature of his run.

“You see how hard he works on himself every day. He is relentless,” Foran said.

“He doesn’t stop, he knows he needs to put the effort in. People who do that deserve a run of good luck.

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

“If ever he wanted to sit down and have a chat about those things in-depth, I would be more than willing.

“He’s such a mentally strong individual. I know he will be able to bounce back too.”

Manly players have attempted to wrap their arms around the fullback, who was notably down around Sea Eagles training on Monday.

But they are adamant their season is not over.

Manly’s winning record without Trbojevic since the start of 2019 sits at 35 per cent, but maintain they have better adapted to play without him in the past year.

They also believe he can have some influence on the club from the sideline, with the Dally M Medallist likely to take on a quasi coaching role while off the field.

“He will be a massive part behind the scenes of the style of footy we play,” captain Daly Cherry-Evans said.

“I will be asking him for advice on how we’re playing, what he’s seeing and trends he might be noticing in other teams to pull them apart.

“He will be able to help us and be an extra set of eyes to help myself and Foz (Kieran Foran) and Reubs (fullback Reuben Garrick).”

Trbojevic’s injury will pave the way for a long-awaited return for Jorge Taufua on the wing, with Garrick going to No.1.

Taufua has not played NRL since rupturing his Achilles in late 2020, but did play reserve grade last weekend.

“He has had a hell of a story himself the way he has had to come back from injury after injury,” Cherry-Evans said.

“He is just someone who consistently works hard and wants to help the team out.

“It would be a big lift to see him get his chance.”

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