Sydney Roosters skipper Jake Friend will remain sidelined from NRL after latest concussion



The Sydney Roosters remain unsure how long skipper Jake Friend will be sidelined for amid fears the veteran hooker may have played his last NRL game.

Friend was left convulsing after a heavy collision with Manly forward Andrew Davey in the Roosters’ 46-4 win over Manly at the SCG on Saturday.

It was the 31-year-old’s third concussion in six months and the Roosters have a history of taking a cautious approach to head injuries.

Co-captain Boyd Cordner is sitting out the first half of the 2021 season to try to recover from his own succession of concussions and teammates on Monday were unable to shed any light on Friend’s expected stint out of the game.

Friend, though, is almost certain to miss Sunday’s clash with Wests Tigers at Campbelltown.

“I’m not too sure what’s going to happen there. He’s in good hands here, though, so I’m sure he’ll get looked after in the right way,” five-eighth Lachlan Lam said.

A Sydney Roosters NRL player tackles a Gold Coast Titans opponent holding the ball around the chest area.
Jake Friend has a history of head injuries.(AAP: Dean Lewins)

“He’s in the hands of the best medical staff so he’s going to be alright.

Centre Joey Manu was also unsure when three-time premiership-winning dummy-half Friend would be back on deck.

“But he’s looking good, sort of positive. He sounded happy so hopefully it goes well for him and see how we go,” Manu said.

“He’ll be hanging around [the club] so it will be good.”

Lam expected either superstar fullback James Tedesco, who took over the NSW State of Origin captaincy from Cordner during last year’s series, halfback Luke Keary or prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves to lead the Roosters in Friend’s absence.

“We’ve got a big group of leaders here,” Lam said.

“There’s ‘Teddy’, there’s Jared there, there’s Keary even there.

“There’s a lot of boys there so ‘Robbo’ [coach Trent Robinson] is lucky; he’s got a lot of choice.”

Utility Adam Keighran is out of action for some time after dislocating his wrist against the Sea Eagles.

Lam said he reached out to Keighran on Sunday.

“He sounded in good spirits, or better spirits, the next day when I spoke to him,” Lam said.

“He was going really good as well before the injury so it’s really sad to see.

“I did the same injury as him a couple of years ago so I know how bad it feels, so the time on the sideline is going to suck but I’m sure he’ll be back in no time.”



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