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NRL news 2023, Canterbury Bulldogs star Luke Thompson injured at training

Canterbury has been dealt a bitter blow on the eve of the NRL season.

The Bulldogs have lost international forward Luke Thompson to a serious ankle injury, which he sustained at training on Tuesday.

Thompson had to assisted from the field after going down just hours before the first NRL teams of the 2023 season were due to be named.

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Bulldogs football chief Phil Gould later tweeted a grim update on the 27-year-old.

“Unfortunately Luke Thompson’s injury is quite serious,” Gould said.

“Prognosis is for minimum six months recovery. Possibly longer depending on surgery type.

“Very sad for Luke and the club.”

Making matters worse for Thompson is the fact he is off contract, and now faced with the reality of missing more than half the NRL season.

He’s reportedly earning $800,000 on his Canterbury contract this season, but faces an uncertain future if he can’t make it onto the field to play for a new deal.

Thompson played 161 Super League games for St Helens in England, before moving to Belmore in 2020.

He has only managed 38 NRL games in three seasons in the blue and white, but loomed as a key member of rookie coach Cameron Ciraldo’s squad this year.

In light of the injury on Tuesday, Ciraldo named Jayden Tanner to make his NRL debut on the bench for the Bulldogs.

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