“Tom Dearden suffered a ruptured testicle in Friday night’s win over the Warriors,” the club said in a statement.
“Dearden had surgery on Saturday afternoon and the club is hopeful he will return to play before the finals.”
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Dearden’s condition wasn’t immediately obvious; the 21-year-old played the full 80 minutes and scored a second half double as the Cowboys racked up a 48-4 win.
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Brien Seeney, better known as NRL Physio on social media, said that Dearden would likely make a full recovery.
“Pain obviously off the charts – thankfully if treatment performed within 2-3 days 90% make a full recovery with no long term implications,” he wrote.
“2-4 weeks is the usual return to play range. Meaning best case he’s back in 2 weeks.”
The Cowboys have secured a top four spot, but a single slip up could cost them second place, where they currently sit.
With games against both of last year’s grand finalists still on the cards, they would have loved to have been as close to full-strength as possible.
Dearden is a contender for the most-improved player in the NRL this year, as a resurgent Cowboys continue to shock a fair chunk of fans and experts alike, who had them pegged for a finish near the bottom of the table.
The former Bronco struggled initially when he was thrown in to first grade as a teenager, but has thrived under Todd Payten this year.
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