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Eels' Shackleton ruled out for season

15/03/2010 06:33:46 PM Comments (0)

Parramatta players are devastated that recruit Shane Shackleton has been ruled out for the rest of the NRL season after he underwent surgery to repair a serious hamstring injury.

Optimistic at what heights he could achieve with last year's grand finalists, after representing City Origin last year, the former Rooster's 2010 season lasted just 22 minutes.

His legs were forced into a split under the pressure of a tackle in last Friday's opening round loss to St George Illawarra.

Shackleton had emergency surgery straight after the match and remains in hospital as the leg needs to be immobilised.

Eels prop Justin Poore, himself a new player at the club, said team-mates are feeling for Shackleton.

"It's a massive blow, I sent him a couple of texts just saying that I'm really sorry for him but he's a massive loss.

"It's heartbreaking for him because he's put so much effort in just to fall short in that one game, and it's terrible you don't wish it upon anyone.

"I can't look at it (replay of the incident), it makes me sick looking at it, I just really feel for him, especially in round one, it's heartbreaking for us."

Fellow second-rower Nathan Hindmarsh said the season-ending news wasn't unexpected given the nasty nature of the injury and the Eels have begun preparing his replacement.

Shackleton played strong football for the Roosters in the previous couple of seasons and had hopes of furthering his representative career.

Hindmarsh admitted he would be difficult to replace, but said whoever is selected out of candidates Brendan Oake and Justin Horo could do the job.

"We kind of knew what was going to happen there, it was a fairly ugly incident, he knew straight away that he'd done something wrong," said Hindmarsh, who has been asked by Shackleton to bring decent food with him to the hospital when he visits.

"To be at a new club ... and then to have this happen to him, it'll be tough so we're all feeling for him.

"He's an experienced first grader so that's going to be a massive loss for us but we've got some young blokes that are looking alright, Brendan Oake, Justin Horo, so they should fit in pretty well.

"I'm pretty sure that's who we'll be looking at. They trialled with us in the top squad so that's my thoughts anyway."

The Eels get a shot at redemption this Sunday when they host arch-rivals Manly.

After their disappointing loss to a clinical St George Illawarra, Hindmarsh believes they can take a leaf out of the Dragons' book and play more mistake-free football.

Up against the Sea Eagles, Parramatta are preparing for the difficult task of containing tearaway back-rower Anthony Watmough.

"He had a great season last year so we'll be looking out for him. He can hit and he's very hard to stop when he's running with the ball so we'll be concentrating a lot on him I'd say," said Hindmarsh.

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