Gold Coast star Ryan James will seek specialists advice on Monday to determine the best course of action for his latest major knee injury.
The Titans on Friday confirmed their luckless forward is again looking at some serious time on the sideline after re-injuring his knee during training.
Having initially torn his ACL in round six last year, James was on track for an anticipated return in next month’s Indigenous All Stars match on home soil.
“It is obviously pretty devastating, after all that hard work, time away from the team and time off the field to be back to square one again,” James said.
“It was hard enough to have to watch on last year and feel helpless while the team struggled.”
The shattering blow comes at a crucial time for the 28-year-old, who comes off-contract at the end of the upcoming season.
James had spoken openly about his attempted comeback, having trained strongly since undergoing the reconstruction last year.
He remains upbeat about another lengthy rehabilitation period.
“I will be back to see the specialists on Monday for more scans, and to discuss what my options are from here,” James said.
“Once we find out what needs to be done, I can get to work again.
“It will take a while to absorb, I think.
“It is disappointing, especially for my wife and my family. But the love and support I have had from them and everyone at the Club has made it easier to deal with.”
The injury robs rookie Titans coach Justin Holbrook of one of his most dangerous, and most experienced forwards just a month from the season.
Holbrook described James as one of the nicest, most humble men in the game.
“He holds a special place at the Titans and among our fans, because he is a Bilambil junior who came all the way through our system to captain the Titans and is so widely respected for who he is as a player and person,” Holbrook said.
“You never like to see any player in the NRL suffer an injury like this, but for someone like Ryan to have had the same injury twice in less than a year is particularly cruel.”