Independent physiotherapy specialist Dr. Tony Grier is optimistic the Warriors, Panthers and Panthers’ rehab program is on track to bring a player back from an ACL tear to play on the field, with the aim of being ready for next season.
The team’s two ACL reconstructive surgery patients, former Warriors player Andrew Fifita and former Panthers and Storm player Benji Marshall, have been on a shortlist of potential players for the Warriors to consider bringing back to the club.
While the Panthers have not announced an official plan, the team’s new physiotherapist and former Warriors coach John Longmire has indicated he would like to see a return from either of them, along with Warriors’ second-row forward James Maloney.
The Panthers’ first-row prop Samu Kerevi is also on the list of players being considered.
“It’s all very exciting, but it’s a little bit of a long shot,” Grier said on Tuesday.
“The first couple of months are not that encouraging.
You need to see progress, but at the moment, we’re not really optimistic about where the rehab is going to go.”
The Panthers are hoping to have two of their players back from ACL surgery by the end of this year.
While there is some uncertainty over whether they will be able to keep their four-game winning streak alive, Grier feels it is an exciting time for the Panthers’ season.
“I’m pretty optimistic,” Grie said.
We’re playing really well and we’re in a position where we’re going to play for the next two or three years.” “
We’re playing good football.
We’re playing really well and we’re in a position where we’re going to play for the next two or three years.”
With just two games remaining in the NRL season, Grie believes the Panthers are in a good position to qualify for the finals and make a run at the premiership.
“To get into the finals, you need to win a game,” Grieve said.
“But, for now, the focus is still on getting them back into the competition.
We want to see them in the finals as soon as possible, but we’re very optimistic about them being back in the competition.”
The next stage for the Panther rehab program will be determining if they will bring back the injured players for pre-season, with Grier saying he is hopeful to be back on the sidelines for a few games this year, including the Panthers game against the Roosters in Sydney on October 30.
The Warriors’ rehab team will also be looking to bring back one of their former players, the now-suspended former Panthers captain David Mead.
Mead, who was also a part of the team that won the premierships in 2012 and 2014, is not considered a candidate for the team to bring in back into contention for next year.
Grier believes Mead would be a good fit for the rehabilitation program and the Panthers, but there is a catch.
Mead played just five games for the Roos this year after a knee injury ended his season.
While Mead has been cleared to resume training and is expected to return to the Panthers in the coming weeks, Grieve feels he would be best suited for a rehab program at the Gold Coast Warriors.
He said Mead would have a big impact on the rehab program, but added Mead would need to prove himself to the Warriors.
“David Mead would definitely be a fantastic fit for our rehab program,” Griber said.