THE careers of Manly veterans Brett Stewart and Steve Matai are hanging by a thread, with both stars still yet to return to pre-season training.
Stewart has been battling a chronic knee injury that threatens to call curtains on a glittering 14-year career for the Sea Eagles, while a long-term neck issue is feared to hold a similar fate for Matai.
Matai’s last appearance in the maroon and white was back in round nine last year, while Stewart hasn’t been sighted since round 16 and struggled to produce his best form in 2016, but he had been expected back at training after the New Year.
With emerging star Tom Trbojevic pencilled in as the club’s long-term fullback, rumours of Stewart being shopped to Super League to Catalans - despite having a year remaining on his current deal - have been rife.
Trbojevic’s preferred position is at the back and he’s looking odds-on to start 2017 there...
Read more: Struggling Manly stars’ careers in limbo