Manly centre Matai considers neck brace - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Manly centre Matai considers neck brace

By Todd Balym 14/04/2009 07:04:15 PM Comments (0)

Manly's New Zealand Test centre Steve Matai will consider a Brent Tate-style neck brace to help cure the ongoing injury problems with his spine.

Matai missed last Sunday's win over the Wests Tigers and is hopeful of an NRL return against South Sydney on Saturday night after scans confirmed he had damaged a nerve in his neck.

The 24-year-old had surgery on his shoulder and neck after injury cut short his World Cup campaign last year but now concedes he may have to look at a device to help provide more stability when he plays the game.

Former Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett suggested it to Matai in the Kiwi camp last year and the Manly centre plans to contact injured Warrior Tate to discuss the neck brace idea.

"I will try anything that helps out the neck," said Matai.

"If that'll help then I will be open to suggestions.

"I haven't considered it before but a few of the trainers have said to me `why don't you try it?'

"I will have a look and talk to Brent Tate about it too see how it goes."

Matai was named in Manly's side on Tuesday but has not yet been cleared to play.

He has a specialist appointment next week but if his neck continues to improve over the week he will play the Rabbitohs.

Matai admits he will have problems with his neck for the rest of his rugby league career but won't alter his aggressive playing style.

"At that level where I had the surgery it is not going to be as strong as every other level so it's going to be ongoing," he said.

"It is just a bit of nerve damage and takes time to settle down. It should be fine.

"I don't think about that (changing style), I just go out and play my normal game and try to hit hard and tackle hard."

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