Good news for Dragons and injured center Jack Bird

Good news for Dragons and injured center Jack Bird

St George Illawarra have received great news regarding injured center Jack Bird, who has been diagnosed with a “significant ankle sprain.”

Bird left the field on a medi-cab during the round-12 loss to Canterbury on Thursday night and many feared the worst.

But scan results cleared the injury-plagued former State of Origin representative of a fracture on Friday morning, although his return-to-play timeline is yet to be determined.

“Scans have revealed a significant ankle sprain but no fracture,” a Dragons statement read.

Dragons teammate Hame Sele has been diagnosed with a fractured right shoulder after hurting himself in the opening minutes of the 44-12 loss on Thursday night.

The prop initially played through the pain before leaving the field midway through the first half and booking in for scans.

“Both players will require further review from specialists before a return-to-play date can be estimated,” a Dragons statement read.

Bird had his left foot crushed as he attempted a tackle on Bronson Xerri just before half-time at Accor Stadium and lay in agony on the turf.

The 29-year-old was hoisted onto a stretcher and then a medi-cab before leaving the field. The injury proved a turning point in the game, with the Bulldogs running in seven second-half tries by attacking the Dragons’ makeshift edges.

“When you lose a center it is hard, that’s probably where their strike is, out on the edges,” coach Shane Flanagan said after the game.

“But that’s football, you’ve just got to be able to handle it.”

New recruit Christian Tuipulotu looms as the likeliest man to join the Dragons’ backline for the coming weeks, but Flanagan hinted he could cast the net wider.

“There are a few kids there that played well in second grade so I’ll have to take a look at that,” he said.

There could be more than one player called in from the Dragons’ fifth-placed NSW Cup team to play first grade against Penrith next Saturday.

“Without a doubt,” Flanagan said when asked whether he would consider making changes.

“If you keep getting these results and you keep picking the same side, they’ll find a new coach.”