Injured Canberra five-eighth Terry Campese urged his teammates to “hit the ground running” as he’s on track for an early NRL comeback.
It was feared Campese could miss the bulk of the regular season after undergoing a knee reconstruction in September last year, but the 26-year-old said he was well on track to be fit to face North Queensland in round 13.
“I’ve actually been running a fair bit lately, so I’ve been contemplating going to (coach David Furner) and saying ‘I’m ready for round one’, but it’s still a few months away and coming along nicely,” Campese said.
Club insiders believe the talented playmaker is considerably ahead of schedule, but Campese is not willing to risk re-injuring the knee by returning too quickly.
Canberra have the bye in round 12, meaning the Cowboys clash a week later looms as his most likely comeback date.
“It’s something I’d rather just wait the whole time no matter how good it is feeling,” Campese explained.
“I’d rather it be 100 per cent by the time I come back and then I’ve got all the confidence just to worry about football and not go into games thinking about my knee.
“I just can’t wait until round 13 to be honest.”
Meanwhile, Campese expects his young teammates to live up to pre-season expectations under the leadership of new signing Matt Orford.
With Orford, currently battling a groin injury to be fit for round one, running the show at halfback, Campese is hopeful of returning to a team on the path to finals football.
“That’s what I’m most upset about is not running out with him,” Campese added.
“We’ve just got to stay level headed and keep doing the things we were doing last year, all the little things in the game.
“We’ve just got to hit the ground running come round one because we didn’t start well at the start of last year.”
by Buford Balony