Lockyer's knee needs close monitoring - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lockyer's knee needs close monitoring

By Wayne Heming 22/04/2008 04:52:32 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane's high performance director Jeremy Hickmans says he can't guarantee Darren Lockyer's Anzac Day return against South Sydney will mean he'll be right to play for Australia in next month's Test against New Zealand.

While national selectors will pick the champion five-eighth for the May 9 Centenary battle with the Kiwis even if he misses Friday night's NRL game, Hickmans said Lockyer's recovery was still a "work in progress".

"He's still a day to day proposition but we've learned more how to manage him between games," said Hickmans.

"If he plays against Souths it doesn't mean he's perfect.

"He's going to take time to get up to speed and for his knee to get up to speed."

Lockyer trained for the first time with the team in three weeks on Tuesday and Hickmans reported he came through the session "pain free" after a similar private run at Red Hill on Monday.

It's heightened hopes he will be able to resume his representative career but Hickmans cautioned about expecting too much too soon from Lockyer who's been experiencing soreness in his right knee after undergoing reconstructive surgery 10 months ago.

"Darren had a good run today as he did yesterday and the knee has pulled up well with no pain," said Hickmans.

"It's all looking very positive.

"He was a little bit nervous yesterday but that run gave him the confidence to get out today and have a run with the boys.

"We'll monitor him day to day.

"He's got through everything the last few days but he's got to be good tomorrow and he's got to be good again on Thursday."

Lockyer has been named at five-eighth but will come off the bench if cleared to play.

Fullback Karmichael Hunt (knee) and second-rower Corey Parker (knee) have been ruled out with Darius Boyd moving to fullback and Reece Robinson recalled to the wing.

Despite the injury withdrawals, Brisbane will enjoy being back home at Suncorp Stadium playing a side yet to win a game.

"It feels like we haven't played here at Suncorp Stadium in months," said second-rower Ashton Sims.

Sims said the players were dirty about how they started against the Gold Coast last week, handing them a 16-0 lead before losing 26-24.

"It was just ludicrous on our behalf," said Sims.

"We didn't come out flat, we just gave away a couple of penalties and committed a few silly errors.

"It's something Wayne (Bennett) and Ivan (Henjak) have been telling us to make sure we cut out of our game this week,

"Souths may be winless but a win is just around the corner.

"We don't want to be the team that gives them their first win."

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