Tough Raiders forward Trevor Thurling has been ruled out for the remainder of the 2006 season, after damaging his anterior cruciate ligament in the Raiders 26-24 win in Premier League on Saturday.
It is the second time Thurling has injured his knee in as many seasons, after sustaining the exact same injury 15 meters up the paddock from where he did it last year.
It�s a disappointing end to the season for Thurling who has played some sensational football for the Raiders in 2006, which has earned him game time in the Raiders first grade side.
Thurling was also named in the NSW resident�s side to play Queensland residents on Wednesday night, in the curtain raiser to the third and final State of Origin clash in Melbourne.
Although disappointed with being ruled out for the season, Thurling said he is remaining optimistic about his future in the game.
�Obviously it�s shattering news knowing that I won�t be playing again this year,� Thurling said. �But I just have to concentrate now on getting the knee right for next season, and hopefully get another chance next year.�
Thurling said he will use his lay-off as a chance to build his body in other areas, and is committed to being ready for the beginning of 2007.
�It�s a good chance to get some size up top for next year so I�ll be spending plenty of time in the gym,� he said. �What�s done is done and now I have to look forward and be 100 per cent for when I come back.�
Thurling said he will use fellow Raiders forward Josh Miller as an inspiration to being ready ahead of time, and will still remain dedicated to being part of the Raiders for the rest of this year.
�The effort that Josh has put in the gym shows that it�s not the end of the world and you can come back from an injury like this,� he said. �I will also be around to help with both the first grade and premier league sides if they need me.�
Raiders Premier League Coach Andrew McFadden said Thurling�s injury is a huge loss to both Premier League and first grade, but reminded him that there will be a spot waiting for him when he returns.
�Trevor has been playing great footy this year and will be a massive blow to not only Premier League but first grade also,� McFadden said. �But I know he is committed and will be one of the first picked next year.�