Newcastle centre Tautau Moga looks to have suffered yet another season ending injury.Newcastle coach Nathan Brown says Tautau Moga is devastated after suffering a fourth anterior cruciate ligament injury in his short career.
Moga’s season looks over after he was taken from the field after stepping off his left knee to score the Knights’ first try in their 30-12 loss to St George-Illawarra on Sunday.
Moga, who has previously required surgery on his right knee three times, will now likely go under the knife on his left at just the age of 23.
“He’s devastated. That would be putting it nicely for him. Whatever is way worse than that, that’s what he is,” Brown said.
“He’s been through three before and he’s gone through two years of playing consistently. And against Canberra he was showing what he’s going to be.
“You just feel for him and his partner and his little one and his family, because they are serious injuries because they are a part of the game. It’s tough when one of the players go through that at this time of year.”
Moga first required surgery on his left knee early in the 2013 pre-season, before going down in training ahead of his planned return in 2014 at the Sydney Roosters.
He then snapped his ACL for a third time in 2015 while at North Queensland, requiring more season-ending surgery before his move to Newcastle this season via Brisbane.
“We were actually talking about it last night,” said Knights captain Mitchell Pearce, who played with Moga at the Roosters.
“Browny gets the new boys doing interviews and he was saying how it’s good he’s come back from what he’s been though.
“We’re shattered for him. He’s worked so hard in the pre-season and was starting to find some real form.”
The injury will also leave the Knights well short in their backs, an area they were most concerned with in depth during the pre-season.
Five-eighth and potential backline utility Connor Watson could be back within four weeks, with medical staff hopeful he can avoid shoulder surgery on an injury sustained against the Sydney Roosters last week.
The club are still in the market for a centre or winger and have Cronulla youngster Jesse Ramien arriving in 2018, but will likely have to call upon Ken Sio in the immediate future given youngster Nick Meaney is also injured.
“It’s an area where we were real skinny coming into the year. We won’t lie about that,” Brown said.
“People know we’re looking, but at some stage there is always unhappy players at clubs. You never know what might happen these days.”