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Pritchard's new centre of attention

Joe Barton 25/01/2011 07:01:29 PM Comments (0)

Canterbury NRL recruit Frank Pritchard is so eager to form a strike partnership with gun centre Josh Morris that he's planning an early return from injury.

Pritchard, who suffered the injury during New Zealand's successful Four Nations campaign last year, had feared he would miss the start of the new season.

But the promise of wreaking havoc on the left-flank with his new club has had the 27-year-old working overtime to be fit ahead of round one's match with the Wests Tigers.

"I'll definitely be fit for round one, and I'm pushing to be available for our last trial match as well," Pritchard told AAP.

"I wasn't looking forward to missing any games for the club.

"I came back to training after the Four Nations and the knee was looking good, then I had a little hiccup at training and I should've got it done before (Christmas) but I put it off and thought I could just play and train through it.

"But they pulled me aside and told me to see a specialist who said it was best to clean it out now, rather than during the season when it would've forced me to miss games which I don't want to do."

For the past four seasons Pritchard struck fear in the hearts of his opponents when he formed a lethal combination on the left flank with Penrith's own livewire centre Michael Jennings.

And now he wants to cause headaches across the NRL with another speedster in Morris, who himself has an enviable offensive partnership with winger Bryson Goodwin.

"Me and Michael (Jennings), we formed a good combination there on the left for a few years, and yeah I'm going to miss him but it's time to adjust," Pritchard said.

"Josh Morris is another strike weapon there, he's pretty quick too.

"I'm just trying to get back on the field as soon as I can and form my combinations with Josh and Bryson on the wing."

Pritchard also revealed that he's likely to be given a roving commission from coach Kevin Moore as he looks to expand his running game.

"It would be good to be able to move around the field more, and try to test teams out on the right side, not just the left," he said.

"I want to open up my game a bit more and change it up a bit."

In a further boost for the Bulldogs, fellow recruit Greg Eastwood revealed his casts could be off as early as next week as he eyes a return against South Sydney in round two.

The burly forward suffered similar injuries at the start of last year, although a botched surgery meant he required another clean-up.

"I had the surgery done before Christmas, I did the same surgery last year and I was back in 11 weeks ... if it's around the same recovery time I shouldn't miss too much of the start," Eastwood explained.

"Maybe one or two (games), hopefully no more than that."

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