Stacey thought his season was over

Injured New Zealand Warriors captain Stacey Jones says he feared the worst when he went down with a painful knee injury during Sunday's National Rugby League match against South Sydney. So a wide smile was plastered on the key halfback's face yesterday when scans revealed he had a medial strain and that he would probably be back playing within four weeks.

"It was a huge relief that I'm not out for as long as I thought," Jones told Reporters

"It was pretty sore at the time and I was wondering how long I would be out for. But when I got back to the changing room, the pain went away.

"The pain lasted for about 30 seconds. Our physio was calling for the stretcher but I said I could hobble off."

Jones said medical tests had uncovered no cartilage damage although some chipped bone was floating in his knee. It would not require surgery, nor prevent him playing.

The only other serious injury he has suffered was a broken arm two years ago.

Jones could not determine exactly when he would return.

"I've just got to take it week by week. I haven't really pinpointed a game when I'll be back. It could be three, four or two weeks. We'll see when the swelling comes down."

Ivan Cleary has been named to captain the side for Friday night's game against Newcastle.