Penrith Panthers prop Spencer Leniu is eager to make his mark this season and earn a spot in the State of Origin after recovering from a ruptured testicle sustained during a routine contact drill. Leniu, who is set to join the Sydney Roosters next season, was told he would need up to eight weeks to recover from the injury. The 22-year-old was being considered as an interchange option for the NSW squad for the first Origin game when the injury occurred. He described the injury as feeling like he needed to either use the toilet or throw up.
Leniu underwent surgery at Nepean Hospital and was relieved to find out that the long-term damage was limited. He was advised by the doctors that he would still be able to have children, even though a quarter of his right testicle had to be removed to repair the injury. Leniu returned to training just a day after his surgery and made his comeback four weeks ahead of schedule, playing a protective cup in the Panthers‘ win over St George Illawarra last Sunday.
Leniu remains determined to help the Panthers this season and has set his sights on a spot in the NSW squad. The Samoa international is keen to help NSW win the State of Origin series in Brisbane on June 12, stating that he’s not a big fan of Queensland and he is ready to “rip in” if Freddy gives him a call. Despite the seriousness of the injury, Leniu was able to joke about being stopped in the street by an old lady who was curious about his absence from the team. He had to explain the graphic details of his injury, leaving the old lady quite amused.