Maitland Pickers forward Jacob Sinclair didn’t expect to be wearing a neck brace again four days after being taken off the field but admits he’s lucky the injury wasn’t any worse.
The 27-year-old former NSW Country representative was on Wednesday diagnosed with a bulging disc and torn ligaments in between his C6 and C7 vertebrae.
Sinclair was initially given the all clear following Saturday’s win against Macquarie at Coronation Oval but after seeing a specialist at John Hunter Hospital with MRI scans the self-employed carpenter will be off work for six weeks and miss the remaining two rounds of the Newcastle Rugby League season.
“There’s only millimetres in it at the end of the day,” he said while at home with his parents in Morpeth.
“I felt the cracks down the back of my neck but I never had any pins or needles. I thought I was in the clear to start with but after seeing the specialist I’m in a neck brace for six weeks. It could have been a lot worse.”
Maitland teammate Luke Mercer was taken from the ground five minutes after Sinclair with similar injury concerns, but was cleared of any major damage in hospital that same night.
Meanwhile the Pickers continue their search for a coach in 2018 with a short-list of six applicants, including current player Luke Dorn. Outgoing mentor Trevor Ott will be part of this week’s interview panel.