Anthony Minichiello's back pain returns - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Anthony Minichiello's back pain returns

08/04/2008 07:08:23 PM Comments (0)

Anthony Minichiello has yet to consider retirement, but the Sydney Roosters fullback won't dare tempt fate and play in the NRL with any back pain again.

Minichiello has been ruled out indefinitely after suffering back pain two days after last Friday's bruising victory over the Bulldogs.

The former Test fullback has been cleared of any damage by MRI scans, but given his history of back-related troubles over the past two seasons, coach Brad Fittler ordered him to stand down until he his completely pain-free.

The Roosters and Minichiello are adamant his latest complaints are not career-threatening, but rather a precautionary effort to prolong his career.

It is hoped he will miss just two weeks, but Minichiello says he won't return until he is 100 per cent after playing with pain last time left him unable to walk and resulted in surgery.

"My first one I played on and on and by the time I got into hospital I couldn't even walk in to get the operation done," said Minichiello.

"I know the symptoms now, I know my body and know my back so I'm not going to push on with it.

"It's a long season, one or two weeks off here or there is not going to make too much difference.

"I'm a little bit older now and you know if you're 100 per cent to play. I could easily push it and play which I did before but I'm a bit smarter now.

"I definitely haven't thought about retiring that is for sure."

The 27-year-old has had two operations on his back after a bulging disc was discovered in 2006.

He played just six games that season and 10 NRL games and one Origin for NSW in 2007 before he was again forced under the knife.

Minichiello admitted it was a "bit of a scare" to experience back pain but knew his own body well enough to know it wasn't as bad as previous injuries.

"Naturally with the history of my back sometimes you do get a bit worried," he said.

"I pretty much know my own body now and especially my back over the last three years. I had no leg pain so I wasn't overly worried.

"It is all precautionary and trying to look after my long term playing career.

"I'm a bit filthy because I wanted to play on the weekend ... you get a bit filthy because you feel like you're letting the boys down."

He isn't the only Rooster ruled out of Saturday's clash with Penrith.

Prop Willie Mason will miss a week with a grade one medial ligament tear in his knee while fellow bookend David Shillington was dumped to NSW Cup for breaching the club's alcohol policy.

The Roosters were keen to reduce any hysteria over the three issues and deliberately called a press conference to openly discuss the situations.

Club physiotherapist Tony Ayoub said while Minichiello is out indefinitely, he could return within two weeks.

"At the moment it is indefinite. We are hoping it is only weeks, maybe two," said Ayoub.

"He is a prized asset of ours so we have to make sure we look after him and do the right thing.

"He doesn't do anywhere near the training he used to do two or three years ago. If we load him up too much he will break down.

"We are trying to prolong his career by looking after him."

Minichiello also revealed he'd shared his injury concerns with Tigers hooker Robbie Farah who is believed to suffer from a similar back complaint.

Farah had a cortisone injection last week and missed the Tigers loss to Penrith on Monday night and Minichiello urged the playmaker to not rush back to playing.

"He knows how bad it can get. That is what he is doing now, he is having a couple of weeks off just to get it right," said Minichiello.

"He is doing the right thing by doing that."

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