Johns adamant career not in jeopardy - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Johns adamant career not in jeopardy

By Todd Balym And Philip Henderson 06/04/2007 07:23:30 PM Comments (0)

Star Newcastle halfback Andrew Johns is adamant a neck injury will not prematurely end his decorated rugby league career.

Johns has been ruled out of Sunday's clash with Melbourne at EnergyAustralia Stadium after sustaining a neck injury during training on Thursday night.

The 32-year-old had first injured his neck in Monday night's shock loss to the Raiders in Canberra but then aggravated it when he bumped into his teammates during a regulation training drill.

It is the second neck injury Johns has suffered in his career, the Australia and NSW champion missing the end of 2003 after he was diagnosed with a protruding disc in August of that year.

Despite the seriousness of the injury, Johns is adamant it won't end his career.

"I think that's a bit premature. Obviously there's going to be some hysteria over this, but I'll wait till I get the scans back and I'll know more then," Johns told the Nine Network.

"I'm confident I'll be back on the field.

"I've got no pins and needles or pain in my arm, like last time.

Johns consulted spinal specialist Dr John Yeo, who also helped him back in 2003, who told him he will likely have to sit out for at least a fortnight.

"I knew it was more than just a knock so I've come down here to see Professor Yeo and he wants to be totally sure and get a CAT scan.

"So he pulled me out, which is disappointing I was desperate to play tomorrow night, but I'm in good hands with the doctor.

"It's not like the injury of four years ago.

"I jarred it last week versus the Raiders and then last night training in Newcastle I had a bad collision with a couple of guys and came down today and saw Professor Yeo who pulled me out of tomorrow's game.

"I'll probably miss a couple of weeks, but I'll know more Tuesday. I'll have scans then and get the results."

His brother Matthew Johns was more concerned, suggesting Andrew should consider calling it a day.

When asked whether his younger sibling should retire, Matthew told the Nine Network: "Look, as a fan I hope not, but as a brother I'm not so sure.

"I don't think he's got anything left to prove."

Entering his 15th season in the NRL, Johns has until June to advise the Knights whether he will accept the option in his contract to play on next season.

But the presence of a lingering neck complaint could prompt Johns to call it quits before he is due.

Widely considered to be in his last season in the NRL, Johns' farewell has been nothing short of disastrous after he missed the entire preseason with a hamstring strain and was then knocked unconscious in the fourth minute of his opening clash with the Bulldogs.

He returned for last Monday's shellacking to Canberra, labelling it "one of the worst" performances of his career.

Newcastle officials would not speculate on how long Johns will be sidelined and coach Brian Smith won't name his replacement until tomorrow.

Parramatta have their own injury concerns ahead of tomorrow's game with Canberra after today ruling out Timana Tahu and Nathan Cayless.

The international duo failed fitness tests today with Cayless still hampered by a hamstring concern and Tahu to miss the game with an elbow injury.

Gold Coast meanwhile will conduct fitness tests tomorrow on backline stars Matt Hilder (shoulder), Scott Prince (ankle), Jake Webster (knee) and Mat Rogers (neck) ahead of their flight to Sydney to play Penrith on Sunday.

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