Dragons captain Cameron McInnes out for the season with ACL injury

It looks like St George will be without Cameron McInnes in 2021 after he suffered a suspected season-ending knee injury.

The Dragons captain ruptured his ACL at training in a devastating blow that may rob him of the chance to wear the Red V again.

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“St George Illawarra have provided the following injury update on Cameron McInnes, who has ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament,” the club said in a statement.

“McInnes suffered the injury during a training session on Friday morning.

“The 27-year-old is yet to undergo follow up consultations to establish the next steps in his recovery and return to play time frame.”

The crushing news makes it even more crucial for new Dragons coach Anthony Griffin to secure the signing of Broncos hooker Andrew McCullough, who looks set to leave Brisbane and join St George.

McInnes has always been a starting dummy-half but last year was shifted into the back row to make room for Ben Hunt at hooker. He may have been forced to share duties with McCullough this season but now it looks like the former Queensland Origin rake will carry a heavier burden than anticipated, should he arrive in Wollongong.

McInnes doesn’t deserve to have his season taken away.Source:Getty Images

McInnes has been crowned the Dragons’ best-and-fairest player for the past two years and is a fan favourite, regarded as the heart and soul of the team. But earlier this month it was announced he was defecting to arch rivals the Sharks because St George didn’t offer him the long-term contract he was after.

The deal with Cronulla is reportedly worth approximately $2.4 million over years and is a huge blow for the Dragons, who have struggled to land any major recruitment coups since Griffin was announced as coach, taking over after Paul McGregor was sacked last year.

McInnes will face stiff competition if he wants to regain his regular spot as a rake at the Sharks in 2022, because they already boast talented youngster Blayke Brailey in the position.

The tough-as-nails competitor started his NRL career with Souths in 2014, playing 39 games before establishing himself as a genuine star after arriving at St George in 2017.

The 27-year-old earnt a call-up to the Blues squad last season because of his versatility and his leadership qualities were highly valued by McGregor. Nobody took the former coach’s axing harder than McInnes, who felt the players had let down their boss by failing to perform to the required standard.

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