Treated for depression ... Darius Boyd playing for Newcastle on the weekend

Treated for depression ... Darius Boyd playing for Newcastle on the weekend.

Knights coach Wayne Bennett said fullback Darius Boyd was no certainty to play again this season after checking himself into a Sydney rehabilitation facility on Wednesday morning to treat depression. 

After media reports surfaced on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, that Boyd was being investigated for an incident in which $1500 worth of damage was done to a room in a Hunter Valley hotel he stayed at last Thursday, the Knights issued a statement on Wednesday saying Boyd had been admitted to a mental health facility seeking treatment for depression. Bennett said Boyd had only told him about that incident in a conversation on Wednesday, and believed it was unrelated to his condition.

"I'm pleased for Darius that he's recognised that he's obviously got a problem, it's a self-admission one and he's come to this conclusion himself, and he booked himself into rehab in Sydney this morning," Bennett told the media after Knights training on Wednesday. ‘‘He's always had different little issues, but no more than I've noticed in the past. I've always had a close relationship and good communication with him, but late last week he started to talk more about it. He obviously needed help and in the end he realised that he needed to get some professional help."

Describing the Queensland and Australian star as an introvert, Bennett said Boyd's admission "explains a little bit of maybe what we see in Darius and we all try to work out what's actually going on with him". 

"It's tough for anybody," Bennett said. "It's a much more sensitive issue in our society than it has been, and there's a lot more respect shown for people who have it, and I think that's a wonderful thing. It's obviously an illness most of us want to avoid if we can." 

Bennett is like a father figure to Boyd, having been his only NRL coach during a 204-game career at the Broncos, Dragons and Knights. They first crossed paths when Boyd made his NRL debut under Bennett at the Broncos as an 18-year-old schoolboy in 2006. Asked if he had seen signs that Boyd was headed down this path, Bennett said: "Yes and no".

"It's like everything, whether you've got an alcohol problem or a drug problem, you've got to make the first admission yourself, and I think he's been fighting that the last few months bringing himself to that conclusion," Bennett said. "So were there absolutely certain signs, no, but had there been some signs, yes."

Bennett said Boyd had been working with counsellors "for some time" and a diagnosis of depression was "the conclusion that they've come to". Bennett would not speculate about when Boyd would be available to play again, and said there was no certainty he would play again this year.

"No idea at all. That's not our priority," he said. "To be honest with you, he's had a great love affair with football and maybe many times in his life, football's been the thing that's held him together. But right now, football's not the thing that's holding him together. It's his health and he realises that and football is secondary to everything else."

Bennett said 18-year-old rookie Sione Mata'utia would make his NRL debut replacing Boyd at fullback against Sydney Roosters at Hunter Stadium on Friday night.

Readers seeking support and information can contact MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.