Burt hopeful of return for NRL finals - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Burt hopeful of return for NRL finals

By Todd Balym 11/07/2007 07:04:33 PM Comments (0)

Fullback Luke Burt has vowed to overcome a serious knee injury in time to spark Parramatta's NRL finals campaign.

Burt was on Wednesday told he would miss up to eight weeks with medial ligament damage suffered from a sickening kneecap dislocation last Monday.

He will undergo an arthroscope on Friday to determine the extent of the damage to his knee and this could again change the predicted length of his sideline stint.

But Burt is adamant he will return in 2007 and is confident the Eels will hold onto a spot in the NRL top four so he can join in on an NRL finals campaign.

Desperately searching for positives after suffering the knee injury in the best form of his career, Burt said his last major leg problem was an ankle complaint in 2001 - the year Parramatta reached the grand final.

"Back in 2001 when we made the grand final I did my ankle so hopefully that's another sort of omen," said Burt.

"I would love to be back (for finals). Obviously the arthroscope at the end of the week will tell how much damage I have done to the medial (ligament) but if there's not too much damage I will be back for the last couple of games or the last game.

"I think I won't come back until it is fully right. There's no rush to get back on the park but I will be doing my best to get back there ASAP."

Burt believes 2007 has been his best season of NRL football, the surge in form coinciding with a permanent move to fullback.

The 26-year-old has floated between wing and fullback during his nine-year NRL career but was told by new coach Michael Hagan he could have first crack at cementing the custodian role this season after Wade McKinnon left the club.

Burt hasn't looked back, playing every Eels game in the No.1 jersey to score nine tries and boot 59 goals to be the leading point scorer in the competition.

"It's hard to compare to any other season because I have never had a full season at fullback," he said.

"But now I am playing at fullback I'm really enjoying it and the role and I know where my place is in the team and who to run off and what to do.

"(That's why) it was pretty shattering (to get injured). But that's football and you need to get over it and get on with what's going on and get prepared to get back out there.

"I don't think it will affect my goalkicking or running (in the future)."

Burt's place in the Eels lineup has been taken by NSW winger Jarryd Hayne for Sunday's clash with South Sydney, with Joel Reddy coming onto the wing.

Krisnan Inu makes his return to first grade due to a bad leg cut to centre Ben Smith while the Eels also have representative stars Daniel Wagon and Nathan Cayless sidelined due to injury.

Despite the injury concerns Burt has full faith the Eels can avoid the congestion behind them and retain their top four spot on the NRL table.

"I think Haynesy has gone back to fullback and everyone knows how good he is so I don't think there'll be too much trouble there for the boys to charge into the top four," he said.

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