The New Zealand Warriors will have to depend on the boots of another in the upcoming 2017 NRL season, since they will be lacking Ben Matulino for at least the early stages of the season as he undergoes knee surgery to correct the results of a training injury earlier in the week.
It is his left knee this time and possibly was the result of his efforts to protect the right knee that required surgery in the off-season.
There is the old adage that it is better to die on one’s feet than to live on one’s knees, but from an objective perspective, Matulino would seem to be dying from his knees, and for a 28-year-old NRL forward, there is only so much abuse the knees can tolerate before failing entirely.
Still, it is a far cry from the days when knee injuries such as those with which Matulino is dealing were career-ending disasters and the recovery time currently involved is nothing short of amazing.
Matulino has twice been the Warriors’ Player of the Year, so he is a key cog in the side’s plans as he closes in on the 200 game milestone after debuting for the Warriors in 2008.