Gareth Widdop to miss Tigers clash after suffering a quad injury
ST GEORGE-Illawarra’s finals campaign has been thrown into chaos with star five-eighth Gareth Widdop suffering a potentially serious quad injury.
Widdop is considered little hope of being fit for the Dragons crucial final round clash against the Wests Tigers on Saturday with genuine fears he could miss the rest of the season if the injury fails to respond to around-the-clock treatment.
The English international suffered the injury last weekend during the Dragons shock defeat to the Gold Coast Titans.
Widdop failed to complain about his quad in the hours after the match, with the severity of the injury only surfacing on Tuesday following a routine fitness session.
At a minimum, Widdop is expected to miss the next two weeks of football.
However, if Widdop requires an operation, he would join a star-studded list of casualties who have been ruled out for the remainder of the season including Canterbury’s Trent Hodkinson, Sydney Roosters prop Jared Warea-Hargreaves, Melbourne Storm ace Billy Slater and Brisbane’s Josh McGuire.
Injured Roosters playmaker Mitchell Pearce and South Sydney’s gun fullback Greg Inglis are also in doubt for week one of the finals.
The Dragons disappointing loss to the Titans has left them clinging to eighth position on the NRL ladder, two points ahead of Manly.
Another loss against the Tigers on Saturday would result in Paul McGregor’s Dragons outfit relying on results going their way to guarantee a finals berth.
Defeat for the Dragons would also open the smallest of windows for Manly to secure an unlikely eighth spot.
Rookie half Drew Hutchinson is the obvious replacement for Widdop.
But the loss of Widdop is a devastating blow for the Dragons with the playmaker one of only two players at the club to have featured in all 23 of the club’s matches this season.
He is also St George-Illawarra’s first-choice goal-kicker and leading tryscorer this season.
Widdop landed five goals while he also scored a try against the Titans last Sunday.
St George-Illawarra officials are expected to confirm the severity of Widdop’s injury today.