Canberra consider life without Campo - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Canberra consider life without Campo

By Joe Barton 20/09/2010 06:23:04 PM Comments (0)

Canberra's Terry Campese will go under the knife on Tuesday as his stunned club begins to contemplate navigating the 2011 NRL season without their star five-eighth.

But the matter of who will replace the key playmaker could take a little longer to resolve than Campese's two-hour procedure.

Halfback Josh McCrone, 23, blossomed alongside Campese during Canberra's late season winning run which propelled them into the finals, but the Temora junior has just 31 first-grade games to his name.

So as Campese, who has badly torn the posterior and anterior cruciate ligaments in his left knee, begins the arduous nine-month rehabilitation process, Raiders chief executive Don Furner is not ruling out buying a solution.

Furner will meet with the coaching staff later in the week about the possibility of adding another player to next year's squad, such as the experienced Dally M winner Matt Orford, currently with English outfit Bradford.

"They never really know (how long the recovery will take) but the suggested time is nine months," the CEO explained on Monday.

"We haven't talked about (a replacement) yet, because we haven't even seen the coaches.

"So I don't know about (a replacement), but there's not many around.

"There's just not a lot of five-eighths or halfbacks available but we'll get together in the next couple of days (to discuss it)."

It is the worst possible start to the off-season for Canberra, who were expected to produce big things in 2011 with a young, talented roster topped up with key signings of representative prop Brett White and rising outside back Blake Ferguson.

"It's tough news for the poor bugger," Raiders great Brett Mullins said when told the extent of Campese's injury.

"That's a real shame for him and for the team, because they looked like they were going to do something special next year.

"I still think next year they're going to be a strong side."

Talented young Raider Michael Picker was expected to be given first crack at Campese's role, but put his immediate future in doubt after being charged with driving under the influence at the weekend.

Picker was involved in a single vehicle crash at Gunning, near Canberra, on Saturday night and will face Yass court on October 5.

Furner said the Raiders were relieved that Picker had not been injured and that no one else was hurt in the accident.

"Thankfully Michael has not been seriously hurt in this accident and importantly no one else has been hurt either," Furner said.

"The Raiders will allow the court process to run its course before we decide on any further action."

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