Comeback on track for Thurston, Bowen - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Comeback on track for Thurston, Bowen

By Laine Clark 19/01/2009 09:43:13 PM Comments (0)

Friday the 13th may turn out to be a lucky day after all for recovering North Queensland Cowboys fullback Matt Bowen.

Already buoyed by Johnathan Thurston's official return to training on Monday, the Cowboys have not ruled out Bowen from chiming into their NRL season opener at Brisbane on March 13 after an "encouraging" comeback from a serious knee injury.

Bowen is lightly jogging for the first time since undergoing surgery last July.

Cowboys football manager Dean Lance was cautiously optimistic when asked if Bowen was on track for Suncorp Stadium blockbuster against the Broncos - on a Friday the 13th no less.

"We are aiming for that. If he's ready for Friday 13th at Suncorp against the Broncos then great - if not he will be ready to play when he is ready to go," he told AAP.

"But we are hoping to get Matty back for the first couple of rounds of the competition.

"If he's ready to play in the last (pre-season) trial then we will give him a go, but I don't know.

"All we are doing is watching him train at the moment. But he's coming along well and training hard - it's all been really encouraging."

Lance said Bowen had done a "little bit" of running since easing into cycling, swimming and weights work earlier this month.

"When I say he is running it is very slow at this stage. He's not sprinting or doing anything out of the ordinary," he said.

"He is just trotting along, it is as per program for Matty.

"We said all along we would take it steady with Matty.

"We are not going to do anything that will jeopardise him coming back as soon as he possibly can."

But it seems comeback king Thurston is at it again.

Despite attending only his first training session on Monday, the Cowboys captain wants to make his competitive return from December's groin surgery a fortnight early in their opening NRL pre-season trial against Cronulla at Mackay on February 14.

He was initially scheduled to return in their final trial against Penrith at Cairns on February 28.

"It was his first official training session today and we were happy to see him," Lance said of Thurston.

"He's pretty keen to make amends after what was a disappointing season for the club - he wants to be out there leading the charge."

Thurston is making a habit of surprising the Cowboys' medical staff.

He returned four weeks early from shoulder reconstructive surgery in the 2008 NRL opening round at the Gold Coast.

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