Warriors' Vatuvei 'gutted' at new injury - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Warriors' Vatuvei 'gutted' at new injury

13/03/2011 05:52:29 PM Comments (0)

Giant Warriors NRL winger Manu Vatuvei is gutted about his latest injury setback but philosophical about the tackle that left him with medial ligament damage to his right knee.

Vatuvei limped off 14 minutes into the Warriors' season-opening 24-18 defeat to Parramatta at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday night.

The injury occurred as he was bursting down the sideline and was felled by Eels winger Etu Uaisele, who dived low and head first, sending the 112kg Vatuvei crashing to the turf.

"I'm really gutted, I'm down on myself," Vatuvei said.

"I'm pretty angry at the moment, but that's how the game is. I just have to look after the injury and hopefully come back stronger."

But Vatuvei had no complaints about his 94kg opponents' tackle.

"He just flew at my knee and got me really good," he said.

"But it's part of the game. They do whatever to try to stop me."

The early prognosis was that Vatuvei would be out for six to eight weeks and the club's medical staff are likely to have a better idea on Monday of the extent of the injury.

Vatuvei, 25, is the top tryscorer in the Warriors' history with 78 tries in 113 appearances before the start of this season.

He bagged 20 tries in 19 matches in 2010 and was voted the club's player of the year.

However, the 19-Test Kiwi has had to battle injury through much of his career.

Last year, he missed six NRL fixtures because of a hamstring problem, and then lasted just minutes of the Kiwis' Four Nations campaign after suffering an arm injury in the opening match of the tournament.

In his only run of the pre-season - the trial against the Eels in Rotorua - he came away with a corked thigh.

Coach Ivan Cleary said it was a case of waiting for the results of a scan on the knee and hoping for the best.

Cleary also had no issues with the tackle.

"I think it's fair to say that if Manu is coming at you full pelt, you just do whatever you can and that's what he did," he said.

"It's just one of those things. When Manu does anything it's a pretty bit collision and unfortunately he came out the wrong end."

While Vatuvei's absence represents a big hole to fill, Cleary does have plenty of wing depth, with new recruit Krisnan Inu, Kevin Locke and Bill Tupou as options.

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