Panthers 'not letting injury ruin year' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Panthers 'not letting injury ruin year'

By Todd Balym 14/06/2008 12:18:12 PM Comments (0)

Penrith coach Matthew Elliott is adamant a mid season injury crisis is not going to derail the Panthers unexpected surge into finals contention.

The Panthers had quietly climbed into the NRL top eight at the midway point but after Friday night's 32-12 loss to the Sydney Roosters they are likely to drop to the bottom half of the table by the end of the round.

Compounding the Panthers loss is the injuries to four key players, most notably veteran hooker Luke Priddis with a serious knee complaint and forward Josh Bateman who has been ruled out for the rest of 2008 with a torn pectoral muscle.

Priddis will have scans on Monday but Panthers officials on Saturday believe he has not damaged the anterior cruciate ligament and should only miss between four and six weeks.

Prop Tony Puletua (popped rib cartilage) and centre Michael Jennings (sprained ankle) will also be sent for scans on Monday to ensure they've suffered no bone damage.

Puletua could return next week, although is highly doubtful, while Jennings is expected to miss at least a month.

"We are going to be without a few players for while," lamented Elliott.

"(But) I don't want a team that is admired for their courage as we slip down the competition ladder.

"Some of the penalties we gave away were Penrith of 2007, we gave the referee no choice and we can't do that.

"We're a smarter team than we've showed ... the last couple of weeks we're just making it so difficult for ourselves with the dumb decisions we're making in attack. We're just putting ourselves under too much pressure."

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