Bulldogs under injury cloud - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bulldogs under injury cloud

By Brent Read 13/11/2004 12:03:51 PM Comments (0)

Injury is threatening to decimate the Bulldogs ahead of February's World Club Challenge against Super League champion Leeds at Elland Road.

The 'Dogs, who won the right to meet the Rhinos thanks to their NRL grand final win over the Sydney Roosters last month, are certain to be without winger Matt Utai (ankle) for the trip to England.

And he could be joined on the sidelines by as many as four of his grand final teammates.

Second rower Andrew Ryan - likely to lead the Bulldogs in 2005 in the absence of NZ Warriors recruit Steve Price - will undergo knee surgery on his return from the Kangaroos tour and prop Mark O'Meley requires an elbow operation.

Both are in doubt for the February 4 game against Leeds.

It's understood forwards Sonny Bill Williams and Roy Asotasi could also require surgery for ongoing injury problems when their Tri Nations commitments with New Zealand are completed.

That means at least five members of the side which beat the Roosters could be unavailable for the trip to the north of England.

Ryan still holds out hope of playing but has been told he will be unable to run for six weeks once he undergoes surgery.

"It all depends on how much he (the surgeon) will have to do in the surgery," Ryan said.

"I saw a specialist about three weeks before the end of the (NRL) competition. He said obviously there's a possibility to tour at the end of the year.

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