Injury will prevent Sharks Andrew Fifita and Michael Gordon from taking part in the Four Nations tournament or Prime Ministers XIII match in Papua New Guinea with the pair forced to withdraw from the train-on squad due to injury.
Fifita and Gordon were chosen by Australian selectors in an extended Australian squad, with teams to be named in the coming weeks, however due to injury and off-season surgeries neither will now be available for team selection.
Sharks medical staff briefly described the injuries and off-season operations facing the two Sharks.
“Andrew had surgery for a fractured forearm and thumb ligament reconstruction and will not be fit for contact until January, while Michael Gordon also pulled out as he is having ankle surgery later this month,” the medical report explained.
Gordon’s ankle problem and the surgery needed to correct it is not deemed to be serious and as for Fifita, he had his surgical procedure done before the Sharks completed their 2014 home and away season and has already made a jump start on the recovery process.
The pair will return to pre-season training prior to Christmas with both expected to be fit and firing well in advance of the kick-off to the 2015 season next March.
The status of Luke Lewis remains unclear, with the incumbent Kangaroos and NSW back rower also battling some injury concerns. Guided by medical advice Lewis will soon make a decision and contact Australian selectors once his potential fitness for the Four Nations Tournament has been determined.
Gordon and Fifita informed officials of their unavailability today, with an updated Australian squad list to be announced later today.