Sione Mata’utia has revealed he is only a few weeks off from returning from injury.
The backrower has been sidelined since Round 11 when he picked up a syndesmosis injury against the Bulldogs.
Progressing in his recovery, the 24-year-old is hopeful of making a comeback for the Round 18 match against the Roosters.
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“I’m aiming for about 2-3 weeks,” Mata’utia told Triple M NRL Newcastle.
“Two weeks would be perfect but if I have to wait the extra week, that’s more than alright.
“Just as long as I’m 100 percent and ready to play the best footy I can leading into the back-end of the year.”
With the finals series edging closer, Mata’utia is confident in how his ankle is progressing and revealed he has started running.
When asked how his injury is advancing, he said; “Not too bad.
“I’ve just started running, the last week or so. Tracking along pretty well actually. I had a cortisone shot in my ankle (on Saturday) and hopefully that does a bit of work to get me back on the paddock a little bit earlier.”
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With an unprecedented injury toll this season, the impending return will be a huge boost for the team which has just lost Blake Green to a knee injury.
Throw in the likes of Jayden Brailey, Connor Watson, Andrew McCullough, Tim Glasby, Edrick Lee and Bradman Best also on the sidelines and it’s been a season where the Club has had to overcome the odds.
With no byes, representative rounds and the increase in pace due to the new ‘six again’ rule, Mata’utia has praised the Club’s medical staff for their increased attention to player recovery and workload balance.
“Plenty more Pilates and a lot of it is on the players being diligent in the things that will help the muscles repair after the games and diet,” he said.
“The loads have been thought about, our head of performance in Balin Cupples have noted it as well and done their part to help it too.”