Watts aiming for pre-Origin NRL return - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Watts aiming for pre-Origin NRL return

Ben Horne 24/01/2011 06:38:12 PM Comments (0)

Sydney Roosters utility Anthony Watts says he's on track to return from serious injury in time to help the NRL club through the State of Origin period.

Watts tore his anterior cruciate ligament in November during a pre-season tackling bag drill where he felt his knee go underneath him.

The worst-case scenario for the injury was an entire year on the sidelines, but Watts is confident he'll be back on the field by round 11.

The 24-year-old, who played lower grades for the Roosters before linking with Cronulla and then North Queensland, was hunted by the Bondi Junction club for his excellent versatility.

Dangerous at hooker and in the halves, a fit Watts would be invaluable to the Roosters during the rep period, where they're likely to be without the likes of Mitchell Pearce and Todd Carney.

"We'll probably have Pearcy and Carney both in the Origin team and a few of the other boys as well, so it'll be good to get back and help the team out," said Watts of his anticipated return which would be the weekend before Origin 1.

"Rehab's really good. I saw the surgeon last Wednesday and he was really happy that the joint is nice and strong. I'm doing a lot of rehab and we've got great physios there who are really looking after me, so it's coming along real well.

"It looked like it could have been my season, but it even could be earlier than round 11. I think round 11 is the six month mark so I'm going to try and go from there."

Looking for a fresh opportunity at the Roosters after his time at the Cowboys, Watts was initially left devastated by his injury setback.

The club's recruitment of veteran Mark Riddell to fill his place would have served as a further blow to his confidence.

But it didn't take long for Watts to emerge from his dark cloud. He says the potential of going head to head with Riddell for a place in the team's 17 is a challenge he's embraced.

"I did have my down points after the first three weeks, but I've got agood strong support base around me," he said.

"Mark Riddell's a great player and he's proved over the years how good he is. It's just another challenge really and I'm up for it and my main concern at the moment is just to get my leg right and get back on the field."

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