The immediate playing future of young South Sydney backrow star Kyle Turner is in doubt after he suffered a neck injury in the Indigenous All Stars’ victory over the NRL All Stars on the Gold Coast.
Turner was rocked by a heavy tackle from Paul Gallen during the first half of the match at Cbus Super Stadium, and despite eventually walking from the field under his own steam, he was later admitted to hospital.
Gallen was penalised and put on report, but escaped charge after the Match Review Panel found nothing untoward in the tackle.
While South Sydney coach Michael Maguire initially played down concerns over the injury, a Facebook post by Turner’s mother painted a different picture of its seriousness.
“As a parent you try to prepare yourself for whatever may come seeing your son live his dream but it’s heartbreaking to see him get injured,” Turner’s mother wrote.
“Kye is … awaiting the MRI results, CT scan reveal he has a protruding disc on his spine and has pain, pins and needles in his arms and hands.
“He will be out indefinitely, we are worried sick.”
The primary concern, of course, lies with Turner welfare, but the injury is also a potentially shattering blow to the Rabbitohs’ premiership defence. Turner had a sensational rookie season in 2014, playing 24 games – including 21 starts – and featured prominently in the club’s Grand Final triumph.
The strapping 22-year-old shapes as a vital figure in Souths’ 2015 campaign following the departure of Sam Burgess and Ben Te’o. Injury-prone Manly great Glenn Stewart is the only backrower to be added to the squad, while John Sutton’s US arrest – which contributed to him losing the captaincy to Greg Inglis – and Queensland Origin forward Chris McQueen’s below-par 2014 had further underlined Turner’s importance to Maguire’s plans.
Turner, who made his senior representative debut in the All Stars clash, has also been pinpointed as a NSW Origin smoky after being named in Laurie Daley’s Emerging Blues squad in December.
Commentary Box Sports wishes Kyle Turner and his family all the best in his recovery.