Gilbert looks for positives

Published 12:30pm 6 June 2023

Gilbert looks for positives
Words by Kylie Knight

Dolphins NRL prop Tom Gilbert has confirmed his 2023 season is over after suffering a shoulder injury in State of Origin I.

Speaking with Dolphins’ media in a video released today, he explained the dislocation to his shoulder had ‘tore off a bit of bone’ in his shoulder and he needs the surgery to stabilise it.

“Unfortunately, that means my season’s done which is a bad thing for myself individually … being part of the team, I’ve still got to get behind my teammates and still support them,” Gilbert said in the video.

His plan is to work through his rehabilitation and look forward to 2024.

The 22-year-old said having experienced a dislocated shoulder previously, he knew it wasn’t going to be “the best news” when it happened during the game.

Despite this the player, known for his work ethic, attempted to keep going for his team.

“In my head, I wanted to try to play on but just couldn’t get any strength or movement back into it. That was my night done,” he said.

“It was a bitter-sweet moment because it was a great Queensland win and to play 17 minutes as a part of that was really special.”

Gilbert says he’s looking at the positives from having a long break from the game, including the chance to get other parts of his body right.

He hopes it will prolong his career and provide an opportunity to work on “mental stuff, change a few things, find new habits”.

“You don’t get six months off from footy usually. You don’t want it … when it does happen, what you can control is what you use that six months doing,” he said.

Gilbert is keen to get stuck into some community work while he’s on the sidelines, but to also remain part of the team, helping in the lead-up to games, supporting his teammates and viewing the game from a different angle in a bid to learn more about it.

“I’m not going to say ‘coach’ because I don’t think players like Jesse and other who have played 300 games will want to listen to a young kid like me,” he says laughing.

“I hope if I have something to say, it will be a contribution to the team.”

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