Luckless Wests Tigers hooker Jacob Liddle vows to return from latest injury setback


You don’t think about the long haul, you just think about the daily things, doing the recovery.

Jacob Liddle

“I’ll come back bigger and stronger . . . I’ve had two shoulder recos and you just take it day by day.

“You don’t think about the long haul, you just think about the daily things, doing the recovery.

“It’s all mental really. You get back on the horse and plough ahead.”

Liddle well get a better indication of his surgery options and a potential return date when he consults with the specialist this week.

“I’m not really sure about all the technical stuff'”he said.

Wests Tigers hooker Jacob Liddle has vowed to come back from his latest injury setback.Credit:AAP

“I just know I did the ACL, which is the major thing in terms of damage around the knee. I know I need surgery but I’m not sure how long I’m out until I talk to the surgeon and physio first.”

The Tigers are almost out of dummy half options. It’s unclear whether Robbie Farah will play again after the retiring veteran suffered a fractured tibia. Liddle was seen as Farah’s long-term replacement, prompting the club to re-sign him for a further two seasons earlier this month.

Coach Michael Maguire is likely to turn to out-of-favour utility Josh Reynolds to share the dummy half duties with Elijah Taylor for the remainder of the season as the Tigers battle to stay in finals contention.

The joint-venture outfit has recruited promising Brisbane teen Jake Simpkin from next year, although he is unlikely to be ready to start next year in first grade.

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Liddle said he will devote himself to his recovery and throw himself into his university studies – he has begun an accounting degree – during his latest sabbatical.

“I’m doing uni which is good for keeping my mind off things,” he said.

“At school I was a bit of a maths head. I did engineering but I let that go because it was too much load with full-time training. I’m doing accounting instead so it’s that or finance.

“My girlfriend Caitlin, my parents, all the boys in the club and coaching staff have been amazing through my last surgeries.

“Long term I want to play good footy.”

The Tigers aren’t currently in a position to buy a replacement hooker  or recruit any other player due to salary cap issues. They are attempting to offload Reynolds, Russell Packer, Chris McQueen, Taylor and Ben Matulino in a bid to revamp the roster.

In Matulino’s case, his knee injury, which is not, could be a career-ending one. If he is medically retired, the Tigers are considering applying for a salary cap exemption for the final year of his contract.

The Tigers need to beat Newcastle at Campbelltown next Saturday to keep their slim play-off hopes alive.

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