BATHURST rugby league talent Will Kennedy is in a race to be fit for the NRL finals after undergoing ankle surgery on Monday.
Two days after Cronulla fullback Kennedy was part of a thrilling golden-point win over South Sydney, he went under the knife to repair damage he suffered late in that match.
Cronulla medical staff say the 25-year-old "will be out of action for an estimated five or six weeks" and that they expect "a return to the field for Kennedy for the final round match against the Knights or for week one of the NRL finals."
Certainly Kennedy will be doing all he can to make sure he recovers in time for what would be his second taste of NRL finals.
In just his second season with the Sharks in 2020, Kennedy got the experience of playing in a final against the Canberra Raiders. Cronulla lost that elimination match 32-20.
Last year the Sharks finished the season in ninth, with only points differential denying them a second consecutive finals appearance.
But this season Kennedy and his team-mates are in third spot with five rounds remaining and look on track to again be part of the finals.
As for Kennedy on an individual level, after a stellar 2021 that saw him named Cronulla's player of the year and finish as the Sharks' leading try scorer, he has worked hard to keep developing his game.
"I want to be one of those elite fullbacks with Tom Trbojevic, James Tedesco and Latrell Mitchell," Kennedy said.
"I want to build my game in as many areas that I can."
He's scored five tries from 17 games this season and played a hand in another six with his speed, quick hands and support play a major asset for the Sharks.
Kennedy averages 115 running metres per game and while still working to improve his tackling efficiency rating of 70.1 percent, his organisation in defence has been good.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content: