Manly star Tom Trbojevic unlikely to feature in Rugby League World Cup

Manly star Tom Trbojevic has all but ruled out a potential return for the Rugby League World Cup, as he continues a lengthy rehab process following a shoulder injury.

The 25-year-old was ruled out for the remainder of 2022 back in May, after he suffered a nasty injury against Parramatta that required a shoulder reconstruction.

Trbojevic had been rumored to be in line for a possible shock return for the Sea Eagles should they make the finals, but speaking on the Fox League Podcast, the superstar fullback has ruled himself out.

“Nah I don’t think I’ll be back there,” he said.

“Obviously it all comes down to a medical decision but I’ve still got a long way to go in the rehab process, time is getting shorter and we don’t have long left in the competition.

“I don’t think so but I’ll keep working hard and see where we get to.”

Trbojevic had a stellar 2021 campaign for Manly, finishing with the Dally M Medal and excelling at State of Origin level for the Blues.

And while there’s no doubting Trbojevic would have been one of the first names on Mal Meninga’s team sheet for Australia, his chances of featuring in the RLWC this October are slim.

“That’s another thing I’m not too sure about,” he said.

“It’s a medical decision, obviously playing in a World Cup for me is the pinnacle of rugby league — I’ve been lucky enough to put on an Australian jersey four times and there’s nothing more special than that.

“But ultimately I’ve got to be first of all picked in that side and I’ve got to be fully fit.

“We’ll make decisions when we cross those paths but for now I’m just focused on getting this shoulder right and helping out with the Manly boys where I can.

“I’m in no conversations (with Meninga). I don’t think I’ll play footy again this year, that’s just the reality of it.

“A shoulder injury often takes five months before you’re right and I’m not even two-and-a-half months into it, so I don’t think I’m going to be playing again this year.”

Tbojevic’s absence in the side likely won’t impact the Kangaroos too much, given their depth at fullback and centre.

James Tedesco is the obvious candidate to fill the No.1 role, while a brilliant Origin campaign from Kalyn Ponga certainly won’t hurt his chances of selection in the squad if he is able to overcome concussion issues.

Latrell Mitchell has been in fantastic form for South Sydney since returning from injury and will likely take one center spot, while Valentine Holmes and Dane Gagai will be in the running for the other spot.

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