James facing pay cut to stay with Gold Coast
MAL Meninga says it's too early to decide whether Ryan James will continue his NRL career, with the Titans captain facing a hefty pay cut to keep playing on the Gold Coast.
James will consult a specialist on Wednesday after suffering a season-ending knee injury last Friday.
James ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, the same injury which brought an end to his 2019 campaign in round six last year.
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The 28-year-old faces going nearly two years without playing a game if he chooses to continue his career and come back from a third knee reconstruction.
Off-contract at season's end, James will not get a chance to prove his worth on the field in 2020.
On a deal worth more than $600,000 this year, the Gold Coast junior faces a significant pay cut to continue playing at the Titans.
James has a business degree and is studying an MBA, ensuring he is well-prepared for life after football if the financial incentive to continue playing is not there.
Meninga, the Titans' head of performance and culture, said it was too early to make a call on James' future.
"He's seeing the surgeon (Wednesday)," he said.
"It's too early to tell at this stage. I'm not quite sure.
"He's contracted this year but not beyond this 12 months. It's a decision we'll make moving forward.
"We can't make any definite decisions yet."
James made his debut for the Titans in 2010 and is the club's longest-serving player, having made 144 NRL appearances.
He is hugely popular at the club, has strong community links and could be a valuable off-field asset for the Titans if he opts to hang up the boots.
"He brings a lot to the club in regard to culture, he's a fabulous leader for us," said Titans CEO Steve Mitchell.
"He's got to go through it and work out what his program looks like now from a recovery point of view and we'll work through from there.
"He's upbeat, talking about what he's going to be doing over the next few months, what he's going to focus on and how he's going to get better and get back."