KURT Gidley’s representative curse has struck again.
The inspirational Newcastle Knights captain has been ruled out of the first game of the State of Origin series against Queensland at ANZ Stadium tomorrow week after he was diagnosed last night with a torn ligament in his foot.
Blues coach Laurie Daley will name Gidley’s replacement today.
According to a NSW Rugby League statement issued last night, Blues medical staff ‘‘ruled Gidley out following scans which revealed a slight ligament tear sustained in the Knights’ match against the Warriors yesterday’’.
It is understood Gidley had a pain-killing needle in his foot at half-time of Newcastle’s 44-8 victory over the Bulldogs at Hunter Stadium nine days ago but it is not known whether that was related to the injury he suffered in their 28-12 loss to the Warriors in Auckland on Sunday.
A five-time former NSW captain, 30-year-old Gidley had been named on the bench as the Blues’ utility player but his latest injury setback has continued his cruel run of luck on the eve of representative games.
He had surgery last April to repair torn cartilage in his right knee and was unavailable for selection for Australia’s Anzac Test against New Zealand, then suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in his comeback match for the Knights and missed the entire Origin series.
In 2011, he missed the Anzac Test due to a dislocated shoulder and missed the end-of-season Four Nations tour to England because he had to undergo knee surgery.
Gidley missed the first five games of the 2010 NRL season after suffering a knee injury when tackled by then Knights teammate Cory Paterson in the inaugural All Stars match.
In 2008, after being told that he would be NSW halfback for the opening game of the Origin series, he suffered a fractured cheekbone playing for the Knights against Melbourne at Olympic Park the night before the team was officially announced and he missed the series opener.
He returned on the bench for game two and was fullback for the decider, which Queensland won 16-10.
Later that year, Gidley tore cartilage in his left knee in Australia’s first game of the Centenary World Cup, a 30-6 victory over New Zealand in Sydney, and missed the rest of the tournament.
A shoulder injury sidelined him from the second Origin game in 2007.
The news that Gidley had been ruled out came as a major surprise after his positive comments at a NSW press conference earlier yesterday.
‘‘I’m just trying to get my body right and feeling 100percent and I feel over the past month I’ve been playing some better footy,’’ Gidley said.
‘‘My body’s feeling good. I’m excited and I’m enjoying my footy at the moment.’’
Gidley added that he was not concerned about critics who had questioned his selection.
‘‘It doesn’t affect me at all. Everybody is entitled to their opinion on who should be in the team,’’ said Gidley, who had been keen to try to help NSW end Queensland’s seven-year domination.
‘‘The opinion of the coach is the only one that I worry about, and Laurie rang me at the end of last week and told me I was in.
‘‘I am really happy to be involved again especially after missing last year. I was sitting at home, back on a lounge watching Origin again … it’d been a while since I’ve done that.
‘‘I got a few boys around to watch it and I was just like a fan again, watching the boys and supporting and screaming at the telly and doing all those sorts of things that supporters do. It was disappointing watching them going down in the last game but I was really proud of their efforts.
‘‘Everyone here in the camp is desperate to end this drought. We all think we have the team to do it.’’
KURT’S REP MATCHES MISSED THROUGH INJURY
2007 – AC joint (Origin II)
2008 – fractured cheekbone (Origin I)
2008 – knee (World Cup)
2010 – knee (All Stars game) *
2011 – dislocated shoulder (Anzac Test)
2011 – knee surgery (Four Nations tour)
2012 – knee surgery (Anzac Test)
2012 – shoulder surgery (Origin series)
2013 – foot injury (Origin I)
* injured during game
Kurt Gidley has missed a lot of big games due to injury.