Matt Bowen to miss three NRL matches - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Matt Bowen to miss three NRL matches

By Jim Morton 07/05/2008 07:05:14 PM Comments (0)

North Queensland's gamble to rush Matt Bowen back has backfired, with the livewire fullback ruled out for at least three weeks.

The Cowboys have been forced to rest Bowen after he suffered yet another setback with his lingering knee injury.

The club admits surgery is a must for the 26-year-old, who made a surprise NRL return in the loss to Souths on Sunday only to suffer extra swelling in the joint.

But medical staff believe he may be able to wait until the end of the season for an operation, hoping a lengthy rest could help get him through.

"We're not going to hide the fact that Matt will need an operation at the end of the year but our job is to look after Matt to get as many games out of him as possible," said Cowboys athletic performance manager Glen Murphy.

"We'll be trying to get (Bowen) near 100 per cent every game we can.

"In that three weeks he'll have intensive physiotherapy and we'll be doing a lot of cross training to keep his fitness up."

North Queensland's decision virtually puts Bowen, a possible Queensland bench option, out of contention for the Maroons side for at least the first two matches in the State of Origin series.

Bowen will miss this weekend's home clash with Cronulla and their round 10 encounter with Many at Brookvale Oval before a round 11 bye.

A previous rest worked, with Bowen returning in blistering fashion and scoring a hat-trick against the Warriors in Townsville last month.

He missed the next match against Melbourne but then was a late inclusion against the Rabbitohs.

"He's still got swelling on the knee," Murphy said. "We gave him a couple of weeks off there and that helped.

"He came back against the Warriors in good form and we just hope this extended period away from the game will help even more.

"We'll re-assess it after the bye.

"The swelling was down before the game but it came straight back again."

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