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Matai muscles up

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Berkeley_Eagle, Apr 15, 2008.

  1. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    Matai muscles up

    Jason Avedissian

    15 April 2008

    FORGOTTEN Manly centre Steve Matai will this morning face a "collision" test at training in a bid to make his long-awaited return in the NRL against Parramatta on Friday night.

    The 23-year-old New Zealand centre has not played since he was sent off during October's Test match against Australia.

    Matai has spent the off-season recuperating from shoulder surgery. His return for the Sea Eagles in Friday night's important round five clash with the Eels will hinge on a series of physical tests at training this morning.

    "I can't wait to get back out there," Matai said last night.

    "It's been frustrating being on the sidelines and I'm now raring to get the green light. Hopefully the medical team will give me the clearance I need.

    "If it's not this week, hopefully it will be next week."

    Matai is not the only Sea Eagle under the medical team's attention with Anthony Watmough (ankle), Jamie Lyon (corked thigh), Josh Perry (abductor) and David Vaealiki (hamstring) all in need of care as Manly looks to put Friday night's heavy 26-4 loss to premiers Melbourne at Olympic Park behind them.

    Watmough was last night waiting on results from an MRI scan taken yesterday but early indications are that he will not play the Eels.

    Both Lyon and Perry should play while Vaealiki is still unavailable. If Matai makes his return, Lyon is likely to revert back to five-eighth.

    The other option is using the Kiwi international at lock to cater for the loss of Watmough in the forwards.

    In other league news, wayward Parramatta half Tim Smith will miss Friday night's clash with Manly after he stood down yesterday after revealing he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 18 months ago.

    "I'm not using bipolar disorder as an excuse for any of the things that have happened in the past," Smith said.

    Manly great Steve Menzies is hoping for a try-scoring bonanza on Friday night with Harvey Norman to donate $1000 for all four-pointers scored in next weekend's 100-year anniversary round to various NRL charities.

    "I'm certainly keen for our boys to put a few tries on the Eels on Friday night," Menzies said.

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