Andrew is still experiencing pain from Friday. Could he have re-ruptured his cruciate? Will find out this arvo....
Johns has only 50-50 tour chance
By Peter Kogoy
October 24, 2005
ANDREW JOHNS is rated only a 50-50 chance of joining the Tri-Nations touring party to England and France this week.
Johns' Newcastle Knights team doctor, Neil Halpin, said yesterday the star halfback remained in a "fair bit of pain" after aggravating an old knee injury in Australia's 28-26 win over New Zealand in Auckland on Friday night.
"I inspected the injury this afternoon, but there's not an awful lot new to report until he undergoes an MRI," Halpin said.
"He is reporting a fair bit of pain to the back of the kneecap of the knee he had operated on.
"He says it's still very sore, but we won't know the full extent until we get the results of the MRI. He's 50-50.
"Hopefully, he can have the scans done on Monday morning and have the results back by mid-afternoon.
"The results will be studied by Michael Johnson, the orthopaedic surgeon who operated on Johns, and he'll make his own assessment before briefing the league doctor Hugh Hazard."
Johns' manager, John Fordham, said last night that he wasn't hopeful the star player would be passed fit in time to tour.
"The MRI today will give us a clearer picture on the injury," Fordham said. "Joey remains in a great deal of pain and at this stage he's not very hopeful."
Halpin said he remained hopeful the news wouldn't be too bad. "Joey is now 31 and in football terms that is getting on in age," Halpin said.
"But he has shown in the past that he can still perform at the highest level with a high pain threshold.
"We are also mindful of the fact that he's also played a fair bit of football this year after only playing two games in the previous two seasons.
"I have found him to be the most amazing of athletes, borne out by his effort of playing with two broken ribs and a partially collapsed lung in the 1997 grand final. And for him to whinge about an injury, it must be considered to be of a serious nature."
It is the same knee that required a full reconstruction and ended his 2004 season.
In his weekly column in The Sunday Telegraph, Johns wrote that he was desperate to join the tour.
"But after the way I've played in the last few weeks, it's obvious my knee is affecting my performance.
"Right now I can't exactly be sure about my prospects of going to England. The results (of the MRI) will determine my fate."
Australia and Newcastle team-mate Danny Buderus said he hoped Johns would be fit to play the remainder of the tournament, especially as the Kangaroos did not play a match until they met Britain on November 5.
"It is concerning, but he's got two weeks off before the next game," Buderus said.
With the Kangaroos scheduled to fly to England on Thursday, ARL chief executive Geoff Carr said yesterday national selectors were not necessarily looking at another halfback if Johns is ruled out.
"We have Scott Prince in the squad and we've got the likes of Trent Barrett and Craig Gower, both capable of playing in the No.7," Carr said.
"With Nathan Hindmarsh having already been brought in in place of the injured Timana Tahu, the selectors are looking at bringing in an outside back.
"Parramatta's Eric Grothe, Penrith's Luke Rooney and Matt Sing from North Queensland all now come into the selection equation."
Last edited by Danny; 24-10-2005 at 07:55 AM.
Not an ACL rupture, however there's plenty of work to do under the arthroscope. John's will miss the rest of the tri-nations.
He meets with his orthopedic surgeon today
With Johns under the knife, who will carve up the Poms?
By Jacquelin Magnay
October 25, 2005
Andrew Johns needs further surgery immediately on his right knee but officials say his latest injury is not career threatening.
MRI scans of the Australian halfback's knee, which he reinjured on Friday against New Zealand, were far worse than expected and the 31-year-old was ruled out of the Tri-Nations tour of Britain last night before even seeing his orthopedic surgeon.
"I will just need a clean-up," a disappointed Johns said last night, hobbling to his car after seeing Newcastle club doctor Neil Halpin.
Australian selectors and coach Wayne Bennett will have a phone hook-up this morning to decide on Johns's replacement for the remainder of the Tri-Nations.
The position will go to an outside back/winger as Australia are already well catered for in the halves with Craig Gower, Scott Prince, Trent Barrett and Darren Lockyer in the squad. Parramatta's Eric Grothe, Penrith's Luke Rooney and Cowboys speedsters Matt Bowen and Matt Sing have been suggested as likely replacements to join the team leaving for England on Thursday.
"We have told a number of players, in fact we told them last week, to keep healthy in the event of further injuries to players so there are some on stand-by," said ARL chief executive Geoff Carr. "Obviously we need a winger or outside back to give balance to the team."
The sidelining of Johns has added an intriguing element to the make-up of the starting line-up for the Kangaroos' next Tri-Nations match, against Great Britain on November 5. It is believed Prince, who played under Bennett in Brisbane before being shown the door and signing for Wests Tigers, may get the nod ahead of Gower at halfback.
Johns may play only one more game for Australia, if fit: in the Anzac Test next year. His contract with Newcastle stipulates that he will retire from representative games after next year's State of Origin series.
Last night Johns was dismayed to have to go under the knife yet again, to be followed by several months of rehabilitation. It may be after Christmas before he will be able to run freely, as he is expected to have an arthroscopy and perhaps further invasive surgery in the coming weeks.
"It is sore to walk on, every step hurts, I can't train with the side and I have got to be honest with myself - if I can't compete I am no good for the team," Johns said. Later, in a statement, Johns added: "It's been great to be in the Australian team again but the injury isn't one that I can overcome in a couple of weeks.
"Luckily it's the sort of thing that isn't going to stop me being ready for the Knights next year but it's really disappointing to have to pull out of the tour and I wish the blokes all the best."
Halpin liaised with Kangaroos doctor Hugh Hazard after receiving the scan results and they agreed there was no point in sending Johns on the overseas trip, nor was there any need for a further specialist opinion.
"The doctor rattled off about six things, and none of them are career threatening, but the lot of little things all combined was a problem," Carr said.
Johns initially damaged his cruciate ligament in March 2004. After having a reconstruction he has been unable to fully extend the knee, which has created back and hip problems. He is due to see his orthopedic surgeon today.
■ The Broncos have employed former Wallabies assistant strength and conditioning coach Dean Benton on a three-year deal, AAP reports. The 37-year-old Victorian will replace Gary Belcher as the club's strength and conditioning coach.
Benton will take up his appointment next month after returning from a study tour of the US. He has worked with the Australian Rugby Union elite player development program, the Victorian Rugby Union, the Australian Institute of Sport, the Queensland Academy of Sport and Athletics Australia.