Slater pulls out of Australian
train-on squad

An ongoing groin injury has forced Melbourne Storm fullback Billy Slater to withdraw from the Australian Test train-on squad today.

Slater, who was named in the Australian preliminary squad earlier this week, will undergo minor groin surgery in the next two weeks, ruling him out of contention for the end of season Tri-Nations series against Great Britain and New Zealand.

Slater has been suffering from the debilitating groin injury known as osteitis pubis for almost two years and despite initial hopes that the Queensland flyer would avoid a post-season operation, surgery now looms as the required option.

?I?m looking at having a minor operation, one that would only put me out for six weeks but would lead to four months off running,? Slater explained.

?The medical staff seem to think that if I have this operation and do the right rehab exercises, it should fix the injury.

?Hopefully I can be back running sometime in January and if that happens then I?ll be able to get a little bit fitness up and build a base so I?ll be going into next season a little bit fitter than I was this year.?

Slater is understandably keen to rid himself of the injury that has hampered his first two seasons in the NRL, even if it means forgoing selection in the Australian side for the upcoming Tri-Nations series.

?Obviously it?s very disappointing that I can?t be in contention for the Australian side, but I?m looking to the long-term,? Slater said.

?I?ve had this injury for over 18 months now and it really does get a hold of you and you do get very frustrated with it, so the first thing in my mind is that I want to get rid of it and this sacrifice is the first step.

?I didn?t do much running at all last pre-season and I didn?t do much fitness work so it was a little bit hard this year to get a base.

?I felt that towards the end of the year, and even at the start of the year, if I had to back up an effort I was really struggling so hopefully I won?t have to feel that way again.?

21-year-old Slater is looking forward to playing injury-free next year and has his sights firmly set on claiming a Test jersey in the future.

?Hopefully if I can play the football I have with this injury then I?d like to think that I could play a little bit better without the injury,? he added.

?One of my goals is to pull on the green and gold jersey one day and I?ll be doing everything in my power to put myself in the position again.?

For further information contact

James Avery: Phone (03) 9421 3222 Mobile: 0411 623 024 [email protected]