Karl Lawton's shoulder let him down in 2017 but the young utility got himself in for surgery nice and early and will be ready to for the 2018 pre-season. 

Lawton made 11 appearances in 2017 but succumbed to a shoulder injury that then needed surgery, with a full reconstruction being done.

"I got a couple of games in and was disappointed that I couldn;t finish the season but that's footy," Lawton said. "The rehab is going well and I'll hopefully be back a little earlier than expected. 

"I'll probably do fitness with the main group when we come back but won't do any contact until after Christmas."

At just 21 himself, Lawton knows the challenge of being thrown into the NRL at a young age and believes the number of guys that gained experience this year will be better for the run. 

"I was stoked for those guys and they are all good prospects for the future.

The Burleigh junior signed a three-year contract extension mid-way through this year and is excited about pushing for a regular NRL spot. 

"I suppose hooker is the preference but I want to be able to be ready for wherever the team needs me."

Lawton's 2017 stats: 

Name Karl Lawton
Games 11
Tries 2
Runs (avg) 3.4
Runs (total) 37
Run Metres (avg) 34.2
Run Metres (total) 376
Offloads (avg) 0.1
Offloads (total) 1
Tackles (avg) 15.3
Tackles (total) 168