Canterbury star Trent Hodkinson requires a clean-out on his knee but his hoping the damage doesn’t prove to be more serious.
Canterbury co-captain in waiting Trent Hodkinson is crossing his fingers he won’t require major off-season surgery on his troubled knee.
The Bulldogs halfback is due to meet a specialist on Wednesday and will need at least a clean-out on the knee he damaged two weeks ago in the thrilling NRL semi-final win over Manly.
Hodkinson etched his name in the history books earlier in the season when he scored the match-winning try to break NSW’s State of Origin hoodoo against Queensland and has been nicknamed The Ice Man for a highlights reel packed with clutch plays.
The fairy tale ended on Sunday night in a 30-6 grand final loss to South Sydney but, in a preview of next year, Hodkinson and England warhorse James Graham were named co-captains in Michael Ennis’s absence for the premiership decider.
With Ennis off to Cronulla in 2015, it would appear Hasler will stick with the same plan and hand the reins to his most inspirational forward Graham and his halfback general Hodkinson.
But first, the Bulldogs No.7 is hoping not to miss a chunk off the pre-season after playing through extreme pain the past three matches.
“I definitely need to get a clean-out on my meniscus that I injured two weeks back,” said Hodkinson.
“I’ll have to find out if there’s any further damage but at this stage it’s just the meniscus on the back of my knee.
“A clean-out would only mean a couple of weeks out but if it’s anything further obviously it would eat into the pre-season.
“I got needled before the game and did what I could to get out there and play.”
Hodkinson has a long history of knee trouble, having undergone two reconstructions, and thought he’d suffered another rupture against the Sea Eagles.
It turned out to be more minor, but he still struggled to walk leading into the preliminary final against Penrith.
Hodkinson said leading the team comes naturally to him and he’d like to be elevated to captain or co-captain for next year.
“I’d love to. Obviously I loved every bit of it (last night) and I love that responsibility,” he said.
“Being a half, you’ve got to talk on the field anyway so it just comes with the role.
“It was a great honour for me last night. It would have been nice to hold up the trophy but it wasn’t to be.”
Graham was named alongside Burgess brothers George and Tom for the end-of-year Four Nations tournament, but he was overlooked for the captaincy – with Sean O’Loughlin getting the nod.