Tigers’ Fulton to take extended break
Wests Tigers back-rower Liam Fulton is set to sit out at least a month of NRL action as his short to medium term rugby league future is assessed following a series of concussions.
Fulton suffered his fourth concussion in just six games this season in the Tigers’ round 13 win over Newcastle on Sunday.
The 29-year-old has been stood down from Friday’s round 14 match against South Sydney.
He will be put through a series of tests from external medical personnel in an attempt to ascertain what could be causing the repeated concussions and when it could be safe to return to the field.
Given the focus this season on player welfare, Tigers coach Mick Potter said Fulton’s wellbeing is the club’s primary concern.
“He is feeling fine, he doesn’t think he has any symptoms but everyone is concerned for him as we should be and we want him to be right for footy,” Potter said at training on Thursday.
“Our CEO (Grant Mayer) has raised his future with me but standing him down (for the rest of the season) isn’t going to come under consideration until we have talked to the experts on which is the best way forward.
“Because it is in its infancy as to how things are proceeding with head knocks, no one really knows, because there hasn’t been any evidence in the past for people to say this is what we need to do.
“We will take a very conservative way of looking at things and we have to be advised by the people that know better than us.
Stand-in skipper Braith Anasta said Fulton’s Tigers teammates were worried about his future.
“The whole team is concerned about Liam and how he is health-wise,” Anasta said.
“We don’t know what is causing it or if it is going to keep happening.
“It is a bit of an unknown at the moment and we are just supporting Liam and hoping that things do get better and he gets through this tough period.
“‘Fults’ is a larrikin. He plays it down a bit, he is a tough bugger too, he wants to play, he is not happy about it.
“He also knows he has a wife and a daughter at home and he has to look after them and his own welfare, so he is taking it very seriously.”