Tongue to push through pain barrier - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tongue to push through pain barrier

By Steve Jancetic 31/05/2009 07:38:04 PM Comments (0)

Canberra skipper Alan Tongue has revealed he will play out 2009 with the aid of painkillers after the workaholic backrower was cleared to take on South Sydney on Monday night despite a ruptured ligament in his hand.

Just two weeks after it was believed his season was over, Tongue said he would brave the pain as the Raiders look to keep their dwindling finals hopes alive against the Rabbitohs.

"I got through the week pretty good actually - it was only a couple of weeks ago that it was looking like I was going to have to go and have surgery but the training was my gauge and I got through the week," Tongue said.

"I'll probably need (painkillers), we're hoping it will actually improve as the season goes on.

"My concern and the doctor's as well was that there was no way we could do any more damage to the wrist because it was my right hand and obviously there's life after footy so we made sure I couldn't do any more damage to it.

"The ligament's ruptured so you can't do anything more to it, it's just a matter of getting through the rest of the year and getting it fixed at the end of the season."

Tongue's availability couldn't have come at a better time with the Raiders to be without NSW five-eighth Terry Campese for the clash with the Bunnies.

Campese has been in the thick of everything the Raiders have done well in 2009, his absence putting plenty of pressure on young halves Josh McCrone and Marc Herbert who have played all of their previous top grade footy alongside Campese.

"They've really stepped up during the week, especially with the communication on the field - Campo's usually the main director but they've really stepped up," Tongue said.

"We haven't changed a great deal of the structure - that's the way we've trained since the start of the pre-season so we're not going to be chopping and changing that now just because Campo's not out there.

"Obviously we're going to miss a player like him - a representative player - and his kicking game's really important to us.

"We need better go forward from our big men, we need to get in better field position so our kickers have got more of an opportunity to get on the front foot."

While the pressure will be on the makeshift Raiders halves, South Sydney No.7 Chris Sandow will also be called upon to take on greater responsibility given regular playmaking partners Craig Wing (Origin) and John Sutton (injury) are not available.

Sandow missed last week's dramatic draw with Parramatta after being a late withdrawal due to a knee injury with Wing deputising in his place at halfback.

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