Dolphins star Tom Gilbert ruled out for 2024 NRL season

Julian Miller
By:
Julian Miller
28/02/2024
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Tom Gilbert tears ACL in Dolphins preseason match against Warriors

The 23-year-old missed the majority of last season with a shoulder injury he suffered playing for the Maroons.

News Insights

  • Tom Gilbert suffered an ACL injury against Warriors.
  • Dolphins say Gilbert will need a 9-12-month rehab period.
  • GIlbert will miss the 2024 NRL.
  • This is the second straight season Gilbert has missed significant time with injury.

Dolphins’ lock Tom Gilbert will miss all of the 2024 NRL season after tearing his ACL in a match against Warriors on Sunday. The 23-year-old was expected to be one of Dolphins’ best players this season. 

Gilbert showed good promise last season before suffering a shoulder injury while playing with the Maroons in the 2023 State of Origin series.

Gilbert tears ACL

Tom Gilbert suffered the injury on Saturday night in the Dolphins’ final preseason challenge match against the New Zealand Warriors in Auckland. 

The 23-year-old former North Queensland Cowboys player went down with a non-contact injury in the 44th minute against Warriors. Non-contact injuries always have fans fearing the worst. We now know that the worst did indeed happen. 

Scans have today confirmed that Tom Gilbert suffered an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rupture in his right knee in the trial against the Warriors on Saturday,” Dolphins revealed via a statement on Monday. “He will now require surgery and extensive period of rehabilitation to repair the damage,” the club also said. 

According to Dolphins’ Dolphins Head of Performance Jeremy Hickmans, “Tom is now effectively out for the 2024 season because of this injury, which generally requires a nine to 12-month rehab period.”

Injury trouble plagues Gilbert again

The Warriors preseason match was just the second match back from injury for Gilbert who missed almost the entirety of the 2023 NRL season after suffering a shoulder injury while playing with the Maroons in the 2023 State of Origin series. Gilbert had to have shoulder reconstructive surgery following that injury. Now, he’ll have another surgery and miss another season.

"He's in there pretty disappointed at the moment, obviously just coming back from last year's injury in the Origin," said Nathan Fien, the Dolphins assistant coach Nathan Fien.

Hickmans, the club’s Head of Performance, spoke about Gilbert’s recovery, saying “On a positive note, he has already shown us how dedicated he is and that he is willing to go to all lengths through a long rehabilitation with his comeback from last year’s shoulder surgery. I have no doubt he will replicate those efforts and be back ready to go for the 2025 season.”

Gilbert injury a blow to Dolphins season

Gilbert played just eleven matches for the Dolphins in their inaugural NRL season last year before suffering his shoulder injury. He looked to be one of the club’s best players before his injury. 

Dolphins finished 13th in the NRL ladder last season. With Gilbert back and a bevy of reinforcements, the NRL’s newest club was looking to make a push for the 2024 NRL Finals Series. 

The betting sites already had Dolphins as outsiders to finish outside the Finals places. Their odds took a hit following the news of the Tom Gilbert injury. As of this morning,  PlayUp  gives Dolphins $3.50 odds to finish in the top 8. Only Wests Tigers and St. George Illawarra Dragons have longer odds.

The Dolphins’ first NRL match of the season is on March 10 against their Queensland rivals North Queensland Cowboys. Most NRL betting sites don’t give Dolphins much of a chance in that match, so a good result could be a strong way to start the season amid all the bad news from the preseason.