NRL NOTEBOOK 2/3/04 Buettner calls
it a career

NRL Notebook has learned that 255-game veteran Michael Buettner is on the verge of announcing his retirement from Rugby League after failing to overcome a crippling knee injury. The 30-year-old Wests Tigers utility back was in great form for the club early last year before his knee complications and has been rehabilitating the injury ever since.

Buettner, after stints with Parramatta 1992-95, North Sydney 96-99, Northern Eagles 2000, Parramatta again 2001-02 and the Tigers in 2003; finishes his career just five tries short of the magical 100-try club. During his prime Buettner was a dangerous ball runner particularly in his years at Norths when he formed a potent attacking combination with Jason Taylor.

The Premier League Balmain Tigers linked journeyman halfback Ben Kusto to a deal this week, but it is expected he will play in the Jim Beam Cup with Ryde-Eastwood and the move does not appear related to Buettner?s retirement.

Freelance Sports Journalist NICOLSON SPORTS CONSULTANCY Ph: 0402 851 485 Fax: 02 9653 1483 [email protected]