Jai Arrow, a front-row forward for the Rabbitohs, expects he will be match-fit for the upcoming game despite a back spasm incident while playing Cronulla. Phil Gould called the Rabbitohs “lazy” following their defeat against Cronulla, as they continue to fight for their spot in the top eight.
Arrow experienced tremendous pain on a recent Saturday evening in Perth, slumping on the pitch and needing assistance from two trainers to exit the field.
However, he got back up and mounted an exercise bike within ten minutes, although he did not step back onto the field. “I was frightened at first, my back spurts caused my legs to feel weak,” he explained.
He continued to share how strange the sensation was for him, given that he had never before dealt with back issues. Although his back is still a bit tight, Arrow expects to be match-fit this weekend.
“I was shocked when I couldn’t stand upright. I felt okay when they hoisted me onto their shoulders, but the moment I put my hands down, my back locked up again,” he added.
Unfortunately, Arrow’s back spasms are the latest in a series of setbacks in an already challenging season for him, including missing seven weeks due to an ankle injury in a nasty hip-drop tackle on the Gold Coast.
He acknowledges that the rehabilitation process for the ankle injury might have indirectly led to the back issues. Still, Arrow is focused on moving past these difficulties, despite an uncomfortable five-hour flight back from Perth.
Whether it’s his back or his ankle, Arrow simply wants to be out on the field this week. “The return journey was rough. Luckily, I was seated in premium economy. I kept standing as much as I could”, he said.
Arrow’s injury occurred as he attempted to tackle Cronulla’s Royce Hunt, who immediately perceived something was off. Heraldedly, Arrow collapsed onto the pitch and appeared to tremble, but later it was understood to be back spasms.
Given the Rabbitohs have lost two significant players, Tom Burgess (suspension) and Junior Tatola (injury), Arrow’s quick recovery is crucial. The Rabbitohs, currently eighth, have been called out by Gould for their evident lack of effort in the lost game against Cronulla, putting their place in doubt after losing seven out of their last ten matches.
While respecting everyone’s viewpoint, Arrow admitted that there may be some truth to the claim of laziness. However, he emphasised the importance of not being affected by outside criticism and instead focusing on the game. Although he conceded that they might appear lazy to spectators, he affirms that the team does not intentionally set out to underperform.