Medical advice and a desire to be fully fit for the start of the Sharks 2015 season has seen Luke Lewis make the decision to withdraw from the Kangaroo train-on squad for the upcoming Four Nations tournament.
Lewis, who missed the final few games of 2014 with knee and hamstring injuries, has since had surgery to correct the problems and while his injuries are not considered major, if selected competing at the Four Nations would have meant fast-tracking his recovery and inconveniencing his pre-season at the Sharks.
Also thrown into the equation was the fact that Lewis last played back in round 21 during the first weekend in August, meaning it would be in excess of two months since his last game of football before the Four Nations was scheduled to get underway.
Australian selectors were notified of Lewis’s unavailability while Sharks medical staff briefly explained the injury and recovery process.
“Luke has had ongoing cartilage damage in his left knee throughout the 2014 season, then after sustaining a season ending hamstring injury in round 21 he underwent an arthroscopic clean out of the left knee,” the report detailed. “He now requires rehabilitation which unfortunately has ruled him out of the Four Nations.”
An incumbent player for the Kangaroos until injured at the last World Cup, Lewis would have been well in the reckoning for a place in the Australian side and is said to be disappointed at being unavailable but looking forward to a full recovery and a productive pre-season at the Sharks.
Andrew Fifita and Michael Gordon were also forced to withdraw from the Four Nations and PM’s XIII train on squads due to injury and post-season surgeries.
All three Sharks however are set to be available well in advance of the 2015 NRL season kick-off.
And in other Sharks-related news, young gun Jack Bird, recently signed on with the club for the 2015 and 2016 seasons, has been included in the Junior Kangaroos Train-on squad after his current team the Dragons were eliminated from the Holden Cup finals race last Friday night.
Bird joins young Sharks outside back Valentine Holmes in that Junior Roos squad.