Titan is grounded

GOLD Coast Titans flyer David Mead has scored his last try for 2010.

The Lismore Marist Brothers junior has been ruled out for five months after fracturing his foot in the Titans' NRL loss to the Newcastle Knights last Sunday.

Club doctors had feared ligament damage for the rising star but scans revealed a Lisfranc injury – fracture and dislocation of the joints mid-foot.

And the injury is a double blow for the 22-year-old, who will not only miss the Titans' likely surge to the finals but also the chance to represent his country of birth, Papua New Guinea, at the end-of-season Four Nations.

As one of only two PNG eligible players in the NRL – the other being Cronulla hooker Paul Aiton – Mead helped the league-mad Kumuls qualify for the tournament alongside superpowers Australia, New Zealand andEngland.

The injury also shatters any hope of Mead contesting the proposed sprint-off between the league's fastest men – and possibly Jamaica's triple Olympic Gold medallist Usain Bolt – at the Sydney Athletic Centre on September 15.

But missing that extra-curricular event will mean little to a man who was really finding his feet in the top grade.

Mead hasn't missed a game on the right wing for the Titans this year.

He has scored six tries including a Round 12 hat-trick against the Roosters – and all as the Titans chopped and changed his inside man with Joseph Tomane, Josh Graham, Clinton Toopi and Sam Tagataese all having a shot.

Take a closer look and Mead's statistics are top-notch.

Only prop-forward Luke Bailey (124) averages more metres per match for the Titans than Mead (112).

His eight line breaks are the most by anyone at the club, and his metres gained on the kick return are superior to all including fullback Preston Campbell.

Mead was in hospital undergoing surgery yesterday and while his season has ended in disaster, the misfortune may have opened the door for another Northern Rivers local.

Kyogle junior Shannon Walker is waiting in the wings and would be hopeful of gaining a start for the Titans after impressing for the Tweed Heads Seagulls in Queensland Cup of late.

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