South Sydney Rabbitohs halfback Adam Reynolds sidelined with appendicitis

South Sydney’s seemingly perfect pre-season has had its first hiccup with halfback Adam Reynolds set to miss the first month of the season with appendicitis.
Nanjing Night Net

The Rabbitohs playmaker arrived at training on Wednesday complaining of some discomfort, and was later taken to hospital under the advice of the club doctor.

The 26-year-old spent the night on a drip before undergoing surgery on Thursday to treat the appendicitis that will keep him out for the best part of four weeks.

He required stitches around the abdomen region but was expected to be discharged from hospital on Friday night.

Former Parramatta pivot Luke Kelly firms as his likely replacement, however John Sutton is no stranger to the halves position and could force Cody Walker into the No.7 jersey if Maguire opts to go with his former captain.

At the NRL launch on Thursday Greg Inglis said he and the rest of the Rabbitohs’ spine would encourage Walker to take an ad-lib approach to his football this season.

“We want him to play pretty much off the top of his head,” Inglis said. “He’s an instinctive player and we don’t want to give him too much structure.

“I think it’s just tapping into the skill. He’s obviously got the ability … We keep telling him how much he does have.”

Kelly played in the Auckland Nines and in both trials for the Bunnies, impressing in his maiden season at the club after being used as a stop-gap solution by Parramatta since 2012.

The bad news comes just a week out from South Sydney’s first round match against the Wests Tigers, who have problems of their own in the halves.

Luke Brooks had his wisdom teeth removed a fortnight ago and missed last week’s trial against the Cowboys, while Mitchell Moses has battled bone bruising in his ankle that he picked up playing in the All Stars game earlier this month.

Both Brooks and Moses are expected to be fully fit in time for what will be a mouth-watering Friday night showdown against former Tigers captain Robbie Farah and his new club.

Meanwhile, Billy Slater’s return from a chronic shoulder problem has been put on ice once again.

The Storm fullback hasn’t fully recovered from the season-ending injury he picked up in round one last year, with Storm coach Craig Bellamy in no rush to bring back his superstar No.1.

Melbourne are reluctant to risk Slater by bringing him back prematurely and will miss the opening rounds of their new campaign, which begins against Canterbury at Belmore on Friday night.

“We’re really happy with the way it’s progressing but I’m pretty sure he won’t be playing the first couple of rounds,” Bellamy said at the Storm’s season launch.

“We’ve waited a long time so we’re not going to take any risks with him physically or mentally.”

With Cameron Munster moving from fullback to five-eighth in the off-season to cover for the departure of Blake Green to Manly, Bellamy will have to decide whether to tinker with his new playmaker combination or throw Young Tonumaipea into the No.1 jersey.

“Obviously Cameron has trained mostly in the halves in the pre-season so to put him back there would be a big call but having said that we’ve got to do what we think is best thing for the team,” Bellamy said.

Melbourne’s Kiwi Test backrower Tohu Harris is also sidelined for the opening weeks of the season with a stress fracture in his foot.

with AAP

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