Melbourne Storm prop Rodney Howe?s initial expectations of an early recovery from a knee injury have been dashed with the news that he will miss between 12 and 15 weeks following arthroscopic surgery yesterday.
Howe injured his right knee in the opening stanza of Saturday?s match against the Panthers and an initial MRI scan conducted last Sunday indicated there was no damage to the former Test forward?s anterior cruciate ligament.
However following yesterday?s arthroscope it was revealed that the ACL had in fact been torn off the bone - despite no actual tear to the ligament itself ? as well as a tear to the lateral meniscus cartilage.
The cartilage tear was repaired immediately and a Howe will now wear a leg brace for the next eight weeks, in which time the ACL will re-attach itself to the bone in the right knee.
Once the brace is removed Howe faces another four to six weeks of rehabilitation effectively extending his comeback to 12-15 weeks.
Melbourne?s Player of the Year in 2002 was obviously shattered at the prospect of spending up to 15 weeks on the sidelines.
?It?s pretty disappointing considering all the work I?ve done during the pre-season,? Howe said.
?It?s also obviously disappointing to have it happen in just the second game of the year. I?ll focus on rehab now and do everything I can to get back out there later in the year.?
Meanwhile injured centre Aaron Moule will play with Storm feeder club Brisbane Norths this Saturday as he attempts to overcome an ongoing groin injury.
Moule ? the Storm?s leading try scorer for the past two seasons ? has been battling osteitis pubis since the latter stages of the 2002 season and is hopeful of making a return to first grade provided he gets through Saturday?s match unscathed.
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