Shepherd ready to return against Tahs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Shepherd ready to return against Tahs

By Justin Chadwick 13/04/2009 05:17:56 PM Comments (0)

Luckless Wallabies fullback Cameron Shepherd has declared himself fit to return against the NSW Waratahs on Saturday after overcoming his latest injury setback.

The Western Force star has spent the past month on the sidelines after re-injuring the troublesome left ankle he broke while playing for Australia last July.

Barring further mishap at training, the 25-year-old says he's ready to play the interstate Super 14 clash with the Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday, and hopes to push his claims for a Wallabies recall in the remaining five regular season rounds.

"It's huge, hopefully I can rip into these last five and give myself a chance for selection and in the end whatever happens, happens," said Shepherd, who has nine Test caps.

"It's been a tough injury to come back from, it's been a really hard 10 months for me but I'm positive about it.

"As far as the Wallabies goes I'd love to be there in the number 15 but it's something I don't have much control over at the moment.

"I've just got to make sure I'm playing good footy when I'm on the field and the rest will take care of itself."

Shepherd admitted there was a chance he would require another bout of surgery before the end of the Super 14 season if his ankle flared again upon his return.

"There was a dislocation when I broke it the first time and the damage to the ankle joint is actually what's been giving me more grief than the bone," he said.

"There's a lot of fluid and scar tissue built up in there and just with all that floating around it affects my range of movement and if it gets pulled or twisted the pain from that is a lot worse.

"That's been the hardest thing to get over and I guess the inevitable thing is that sooner or later I'm going to have to get another arthroscope and get it all cleared out.

"I think we'll make a decision on when that's done depending on how it goes in the next few games.

"If I can get through it and there's no pain then I'll be all right, but if I have another tweak or a twist and something goes on then we'll get it done ASAP."

While Force teammate Scott Staniforth saw his Wallabies ambitions go up in smoke when he twice returned too soon from a knee injury, Shepherd felt it was the right time to test his ankle out again under match conditions.

"I feel like I'm in a space where I can play footy at the moment," he said.

"There's no serious damage there at the moment that I'm risking so I'm ready to go and if it does get hurt again, well that's just the chance we take but I'm definitely not pushing myself any harder than we've all agreed is OK."

The Force, who are eight points adrift of the fourth-placed Waratahs, will be without winger Nick Cummins (leg) and Junior Pelesasa (triceps) for the must-win clash with NSW, but star back James O'Connor is expected to return from a hamstring injury.

Rob Horne (hamstring) is likely to miss for the Waratahs.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news