Anthony Mundine’s son C.J almost followed his dad into retirement after a freak injury suffered in a tackle with Roosters rookie sensation Joseph Suaalii.
Anthony Mundine’s son C.J almost followed his dad into retirement after a freak injury suffered in a tackle with Roosters rookie sensation Joseph Suaalii.

Suaalii tackle that almost ended C.J's career

In the same week boxer Anthony Mundine announced he was quitting boxing, his teenage son was almost forced into early retirement alongside him.

C.J Mundine, a fullback for the South Sydney Rabbitohs, suffered a dislocated hip against the North Sydney Bears in their NSW Cup clash last weekend - a shocking injury that has previously forced players out of the game.

And the tackle that forced 19-year-old Mundine to be rushed to hospital in an ambulance was made by Roosters superstar rookie Joseph Suaalii.

Suaalii sent Mundine a text message on Monday: "How you going brother? Sorry for the tackle brother hope the recovery goes well."

Joseph Suaalii brings down C.J Mundine in a routine tackle in the NSW Cup match between South Sydney and North Sydney at Stadium Australia. Picture: Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos
Joseph Suaalii brings down C.J Mundine in a routine tackle in the NSW Cup match between South Sydney and North Sydney at Stadium Australia. Picture: Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos

Doctors at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital were able to put his hip back in without surgery.

He now hopes to be back for the last six weeks of the season.

"It will be three or four months," C.J said.

Anthony Mundine was at Stadium Australia for the game and rushed to the sheds to comfort his son, who looked visibly distressed when he was taken from the field.

"He's going to be okay," Mundine said.

"The kid is like me, he's chasing his dream and will never give up.

 

 

"It's his passion. He wants to come back stronger and reach his goals. He wants to be an NRL player and this won't stop him."

This is the same injury that forced Chris Lawrence to miss most of the 2011 season, and for which the former Wests Tigers star needed "five or six people to get it back in". Thankfully, that wasn't the case with C.J.

"Injuries just happen in sport," Mundine said.

 

Anthony Mundine and his son, C,J, in hospital.
Anthony Mundine and his son, C,J, in hospital.

 

"It was a freak accident. There's probably one chance in 10,000 you can dislocate your hip playing rugby league.

"He's a tough kid and I thought he'd get up. Then when they put him on the medicab I knew it would be serious so I went down to the sheds and then off to hospital."

C.J is still eligible for Jersey Flegg (under 21s) but excelled in the pre-season and was elevated into reserve grade to start 2021.

Mundine says his son is determined to make it back.

"He's in good spirits and he'll do his rehab properly and get strong again," he said.

"He was spewing because this is the last year of his contract and he wanted to have a big season.

 

The message Joseph Suaalii sent C.J Mundine.
The message Joseph Suaalii sent C.J Mundine.

 

"The club loves him and they've seen how hard he works and how much he's improved."

C.J was discharged from hospital on Monday afternoon.

He replied to Suaalii's text message: "All good bra it happens and thanks cuz."

"I'm in a lot of pain when I move," C.J said, "but I'm okay and getting ready for rehab. I'll be back."

The Rabbitohs won a six-way race for Mundine's signature two years ago, after he spent a couple of seasons coming through the Harold Matthews and SG Ball ranks at his father's old club, St George Illawarra.

While C.J was wearing the No.1 jersey when he was injured, he is a talented player who can feature in the outside backs or the halves.

 

 

Originally published as Suaalii tackle that almost ended Choc's son's career



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