Latrell Mitchell avoids season-ending surgery in positive update on South Sydney superstar

The Souths fullback suffered a foot injury in their win over Parramatta, ruling him out of State of Origin 3.

The Rabbitohs have revealed Latrell Mitchell won't require surgery for the foot injury that ruled him out of the State of Origin decider, meaning he will likely play again this season. Bradman Best has won the race to take Mitchell's spot in the NSW team for the Origin 3, after the South Sydney star suffered a foot injury last Thursday night.

Mitchell is set to miss at least a month of footy, but Souths revealed the positive news on Tuesday that he won't require season-ending surgery. "Mitchell has been reviewed by a surgeon this morning and a decision has been made to manage his left midfoot injury conservatively, meaning he will not require surgery," the club said in a statement. "Mitchell will get another scan and review in a fortnight’s time to ensure the injury is progressing."

Latrell Mitchell, pictured here during Souths' win over Parramatta.
Latrell Mitchell suffered a serious foot injury in Souths' win over Parramatta. Image: Getty/Channel 9

Mitchell had a blinder for NSW in Game 2 at the MCG, but suffered a Lisfranc injury in the Rabbitohs' win over Parramatta last Thursday. The Lisfranc ligament is often referred to as the “ACL of the foot”, and it was revealed over the weekend that Mitchell will be out of action for at least a month.

The South Sydney star met with specialists on Tuesday, with fears he could miss the rest of the season if he needed surgery. Either way, it looks like the Rabbitohs' season might be over - with Mitchell pivotal to their chances of making an unlikely run to the NRL finals.

Souths have won five games on the trot and moved to within two points of the top eight after their win in Round 18. But Mitchell has been the star of the show over the last two months, and it's hard to see the Bunnies continuing their surge without him over the next four weeks.

“It’s a shame to lose Latrell, he was great for us in camp, but we are spoiled for choice with players who have played in that centre spot,” NSW coach Michael Maguire told the Daily Telegraph on Sunday evening. “It’s one of those things. It’s Origin. It happens week in and week out in the NRL where a team suddenly changes due to circumstances.

“Yes, it’s a blow, we know what he is capable of, but I actually thought it was a great team performance in Melbourne and that helped bring out the best in Latrell. That team performance is what we will be chasing again at Suncorp. Latrell definitely played his part in Game 2 and we just need his replacement and the other guys to play their part in Origin 3.”

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Newcastle centre Best is the man called up to replace Mitchell for the Blues, after he starred on debut in Game III last year. Best has been in good form over the last few weeks for the Knights, and continued that on Sunday against Canberra.

“Bradman is a quality player, he had a great first-up experience in Origin last year and he showed he can play at that level,” Maguire said. “I have always talked about picking guys on form and Bradman is definitely in good form.”

Newcastle coach Adam O'Brien backed Best after Sunday's 16-12 win. "Bradman leading up before he got injured in round one was outstanding," he said. "The thing that probably works in his favour is he's been back for a while and banked some good performances. Winning form is good form, and he's certainly been playing very well."

Bradman Best and Greg Marzhew, pictured here during Newcastle's win over Canberra.
Bradman Best celebrates a try with Greg Marzhew during Newcastle's win over Canberra. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

Maguire resisted the urge to pick Tom Trbojevic after a quiet performance in his return for the Sea Eagles on Saturday night. Trbojevic has missed the last two months of footy but made his return in Manly's win over the Cowboys.

And Maguire also opted against recalling Joseph Suaalii, who made his debut in Game 1 but was sent off in just the eighth minute. Suaalii's four-game suspension has now been completed, but the Roosters centre hasn't played for a month.

The only other change Maguire had made for Game 3 is dropping Haumole Olakau'atu for in-form Warriors forward Mitch Barnett. The versatile forward has been in the NSW squad for the first two games and will get his debut in the decider at Suncorp.

  1. Dylan Edwards

  2. Brian To'o

  3. Stephen Crichton

  4. Bradman Best

  5. Zac Lomax

  6. Jarome Luai

  7. Mitchell Moses

  8. Jake Trbojevic

  9. Reece Robson

  10. Payne Haas

  11. Liam Martin

  12. Angus Crichton

  13. Cameron Murray

  14. Connor Watson

  15. Isaah Yeo

  16. Mitchell Barnett

  17. Spencer Leniu

with AAP