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Ross' recovery on track for NRL return

04/02/2010 04:08:28 PM Comments (0)

South Sydney prop Ben Ross has taken a huge step towards returning to NRL action after a surgeon said he was satisfied with his progress following a career-threatening neck injury.

Ross is recovering from a number of operations after he ruptured a disc, which was pushing against his spinal column, when playing for Cronulla in the opening round of the 2009 season.

The injury had left Ross just millimetres from becoming a quadriplegic following the incident which took place against Penrith at Toyota Stadium.

However, the club said one of the surgeons working with Ross is very happy with the bone fusion in his neck and the former NSW representative could be back in action for the season opener against Sydney Roosters.

The 29-year-old will be reviewed again by renowned neurosurgeon Richard Parkinson, who performed the initial operation following the injury, on Monday.

And if Parkinson is satisfied with another review in four weeks' time, Ross will be given clearance to resume his career.

"This is a big step forward for Ben in his recovery but both the club and Ben want to ensure his neck is 100 per cent before he plays again," Rabbitohs CEO Shane Richardson said in a statement.

"Ben's health is our number one priority and we won't be rushing him back.

"His training load will increase in line with the medical team's recommendations and contact is now allowed, and we look forward to his next surgeon's review in about a month's time."

Ross said he is targeting the Roosters game for his return and is itching to return.

"It's been a long recovery process but I'm training with the team and getting ready to play again," Ross said.

"My goal is to play first grade in round one when we play the Roosters.

"I'm looking forward to running out in front of the Rabbitohs Members this season and hopefully I can get that final clearance when I next see my surgeon."

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