Catalans Dragons hooker Michael McIlorum has had an operation to repair damage to his hand after being bitten by one of his pet dogs.
The 31-year-old Irish international received surgery in a Montpellier hospital following the freak injury last week and he has missed pre-season training since the incident.
A Dragons spokesman told League Express: “It’s quite a nasty bite between his thumb and index finger. Thankfully, no ligaments or tendons were involved but surgeons decided to operate because of the nature of the injury and its position on his hand.
“It seems his two dogs had been fighting and he’d tried to separate the pair when he was bitten. It’s just a freak injury and a real shame, because we all know how much he loves his dogs.”
McIlorum’s two Parson Terriers, Daisy and Marley, achieved local celebrity when he took them onto the pitch at Catalans Dragons’ end-of-season parade at Stade Gilbert Brutus.
The former Wigan star is often seen walking his dogs around Perpignan and he once revealed they were the reason why he chose Catalans Dragons after he’d decided to leave the Warriors.
McIlorum had been in talks with Canberra Raiders before moving to the south of France: “I’d had the chance to play in the NRL, but it was a bit too far to take them,” he said after joining the Dragons in 2018.
“They are like my kids and France wasn’t too far away for them, so it was a bit of a no-brainer really.”
McIlorum recently signed a two-year extension to his contract at the Dragons and he is expected to return to partial training at the club later this week.
In an eventful few days for former Wigan players in Perpignan, full-back Sam Tomkins revealed he had lost personal property following an incident on the Spanish border.
The 30-year-old England international had been returning from an airport run to Barcelona when he was stopped by Spanish police for a routine search as he crossed back into France.
He said: “They searched my car for ten minutes and asked me for my wallet and documents. It was only when I got to the next motorway toll booth that I realised all of my banks cards were missing.”
Tomkins immediately cancelled his cards with French and English banks and when asked if he was to take the matter further, he told League Express: “Who do I complain to, the police?”
Fellow former Warriors star Tom Davies will return to the UK this week to have metal plates removed from his left ankle as part of the recovery process from the double fracture and dislocation he received during a Wigan-St Helens derby in May.
Davies told League Express: “Doctors have told me that I am well ahead of schedule and if everything goes to plan I’m hoping to be fully fit for the first game of the new season.
“The specialists gave me the option of leaving the plates in permanently, but when you are a Catalans Dragons player there is a lot of travel and this will save me lots of time at the airport security scanners.”