England star and former St Helens man Luke Thompson has been dealt a huge blow going into the new NRL season with the Canterbury Bulldogs.
Thompson has been a hit down under since leaving Super League in 2020 having won the Harry Sunderland Award in the 2019 Grand Final.
However, he might not play a minute of action in 2023 after Bulldogs chief Phil Gould revealed he was set to be out for at least six months and it could be more depending on surgery.
He took to Twitter to say:
“Unfortunately Luke Thompson’s injury is quite serious. Prognosis is for minimum 6 months recovery. Possibly longer depending on surgery type. Very sad for Luke and the club. Thunderbolts happen.”
Unfortunately Luke Thompson’s injury is quite serious. Prognosis is for minimum 6 months recovery. Possibly longer depending on surgery type. Very sad for Luke and the club. Thunderbolts happen.
— Phil Gould (@PhilGould15) February 28, 2023
It could also damage his career at Canterbury with the Bulldogs always trying to balance the cap which nearly led to a move to Wests Tigers, to Melbourne Storm and back to Super League in the past.
Speaking during last year’s Rugby League World Cup, Thompson that he was very happy to be back playing in England and alongside some of his former St Helens teammates like Tommy Makinson.
He revealed as such after the game when talking to Serious About Rugby League: “It was awesome, especially linking up with some of my old St Helens teammates like Tommy Mak. I miss playing with them, some good lads and they’re all great players.”
So, missing playing in England and alongside those St Helens stars, some speculated we see him return to Super League any time soon.
He has constantly been linked with moves back to Super League with Wigan Warriors, Leeds Rhinos, Warrington Wolves and former club St Helens all being linked with a move for the NRL forward.
However, Thompson did say he has “unfinished business” in Australia but wouldn’t rule out a return to Super League one day: “I don’t know. I’ve got some unfinished business over there but maybe one day.”
This injury will likely re-affirm his belief that he does have finished business to attend to.
That said, it may also make the Bulldogs re-evaluate the value of Thompson which may lead to a move.
Either way it is disappointing news to hear about a top star.