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."