Ronald Volkman has confirmed he needs a shoulder reconstruction and is facing the prospect of having to foot the $50,000 bill himself now that he’s clubless.
Volkman was released from the final two years of his contract with the Warriors to join the Dragons on a one-year deal earlier this month.
The club announced his contract and he began light training duties with the squad. But that all happened before his contract had been officially registered with the NRL.
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A routine medical examination by the Dragons revealed the 21-year-old was carrying a shoulder injury. Scans later showed that two screws from a previous surgery had been displaced.
The club was forced to make the brutal decision to tear up Volkman’s contract, which was said to be worth around $250,000, leaving him without a club for 2024.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Volkman got a third opinion from a doctor at the Prince of Wales Hospital on Friday and was dealt the devastating news that he does indeed require surgery, which could cost up to $50,000.
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“The doc just told me I need a full reconstruction, which is something you don’t want to be here, but it has to be done,” Volkman told the Herald.
“I’ll be looking at a good six-month stint on the sidelines, watching teams play against each other.
“I’ve prayed every day, I’m very spiritual, so I’m holding up well, especially with my loved ones around.
“It’s bittersweet I’m back home now but I need surgery. At least my family and partner have been looking out for me.”
Volkman assured the Herald that he is not upset with either the Warriors or Dragons, but now has to come to terms with missing an entire season.
He also confirmed he re-injured his shoulder during pre-season training with the Warriors but was cleared of serious injury.
“I copped a whack at training, there was some shoulder-to-shoulder contact, and my arm went dead,” he said.
“It was pretty sweet afterwards, and I could move it. But I didn’t realise I had done something serious.”
Volkman was stuck behind Shaun Johnson, Luke Metcalf and Te Maire Martin at the Warriors, while the returning Chanel Harris-Tavita is also pushing for a spot in the halves.
He joined the Dragons to bolster their playmaking stocks, which took a major hit when Talatau Amone was deregistered after being found guilty of a hammer attack.
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The Rugby League Player’s Association has stepped in to assist Volkman but nothing will ease the pain of this setback in his career.
“I haven’t fully processed it all yet; the RLPA have been helping me heaps with my mental health,” he said.
“The Dragons were keen, it’s just unfortunate this injury has come up.
“It hasn’t hit me yet I won’t be playing this season. I was trying to rip in and find my feet as an NRL player. I’ve played a lot of reserve grade … I was keen for that NRL challenge in 2024, but it’s come up short before the trials have even started. That’s been hard for me.”
Volkman laughed when asked by the Herald who will pay for his surgery.
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“I might have to ask my manager, Mario (Tartak). He’s got all the big bucks,” he said.
He also revealed he could face a wait time of “up to a year” because he’s a public patient now. But he will find out more about his surgery on Monday.
The Herald reports that the Warriors paid out Volkman around $200,000 of his deal.
Volkman’s comments come after Dragons coach Shane Flanagan admitted he feels sorry for the up-and-coming playmaker.
He also declared: “All clubs will learn from this one. We definitely will.”
Source website: www.foxsports.com.au