Penrith Panthers forward Spencer Leniu has made an incredible recovery from a ruptured testicle suffered in a training accident with teammate Eddie Blacker. Despite being told he would need a minimum of six weeks to recover, Leniu made his return to the field just three weeks later against St George Illawarra. He joked that the most challenging aspect of his rehabilitation was explaining the injury to well-meaning strangers in the street.
Leniu had corrective surgery, which resulted in a quarter of one of his testicles being shaved off. However, urologists initially refused to clear him for a return to play. All hope is not lost for a Blues call-up though, with NSW selectors set to name their side for Game II on Tuesday, and Leniu a strong chance of making the cut.
Leniu said his rapid rehabilitation was not solely driven by his desire to earn a debut for NSW, but to also repay the faith shown in him by the Panthers. Despite being born in Auckland, Leniu is an ardent supporter of the Blues, having represented the state at under-18s and under-20s level. His leg speed and aggression make him a valuable asset for the Panthers, who Leniu has helped lead to back-to-back premierships in the NRL.
Leniu also revealed how he continued training after suffering the injury before realising something was wrong when he was left out of breath. Despite the excruciating discomfort of his injury, Leniu insists he does not go into games thinking about getting hurt and simply wants to play his natural game.