Bowen to have more knee surgery: Cowboys - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bowen to have more knee surgery: Cowboys

02/09/2009 06:22:25 PM Comments (0)

The hunt is on for a stand-in North Queensland fullback following confirmation Cowboys custodian Matt Bowen requires radical knee surgery - yet again.

Arthroscope results revealed on Wednesday Bowen's right knee must undergo the same "ground breaking" operation that was successfully completed on his left knee just last year.

Bowen is expected back on the paddock within the first two months of the 2010 NRL season.

The Cowboys have wasted no time casting their net for a fill-in No.1.

Coincidentally, another player who has undergone the procedure - Bowen's North Queensland teammate Ty Williams - is in the mix.

Cowboys boss Peter Parr said a statement on Williams' future would be made in the next 24 hours.

The injury cloud over Bowen has potentially provided a silver lining for Williams.

The 28-year-old is off contract at the end of the season but has stated his case for retention by ably slotting in at fullback in recent weeks in Bowen's injury-enforced absence.

"We will look at our possibilities, but I won't speculate," Parr told AAP.

Whoever comes on board, they are expected to make way for a rejuvenated Bowen by May.

Parr said there was "no reason at all" why Bowen couldn't make a full recovery from his latest injury setback.

His left knee went under the knife after round eight last year and the livewire hit the ground running in the 2009 season opener.

"We see it as short term pain for a long term gain," Parr said of Bowen's surgery.

"While we would love to have him at the start of the year we are excited about getting him back to his old self.

"He hasn't played a lot of footy over the last 18 months so he comes back fresh and fit."

As part of the procedure, cartilage is taken from the knee then regrown externally at facilities in Perth before being transferred in surgery booked for later this month.

"He has been through it before and he has come back very successfully from it," Parr said.

"I remember after his first operation that he said he was pain free from the start.

"We are looking forward to having him pain free in his knees for the first time in a considerable while.

"We are excited about having him back brand new a couple of months into next season."

Cowboys skipper Johnathan Thurston may not come off contract until the end of 2010 but he will begin extension talks with North Queensland in the off-season.

Parr did not believe Bowen's lengthy stint on the sidelines would affect talks.

The Cowboys' season ends with Sunday's clash with Sydney Roosters after they missed the finals for the second straight year.

Reports claimed on Wednesday the Cowboys should pull their head coach Neil Henry and fitness guru Billy Johnstone from the Queensland Origin support staff after missing the playoffs again despite a strong squad.

But Parr said: "We are not going to rush into a decision.

"But let me say that our form during the Origin period was particularly good - but that (topic) is for another day."

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