Soward rules out Auckland Nines return

January 07, 2015 10:35:47 UK

Jamie Soward will miss the Auckland Nines with an ankle injury.

Jamie Soward is happy with the progress of his return from ankle surgery but says he won’t be fit for the Auckland Nines.

The Penrith Panthers five-eighth went under the knife in October, and was only able to start running again in the week before Christmas.

The 30-year-old, who has also confirmed he won’t challenge for the club captaincy in the new season, was able to return to training when the Panthers resumed following their Christmas break this week.

I just can’t see myself coming back to training, running for three weeks and being fit for the season.

Jamie Soward

He said the Nines tournament, which starts on 31st January, would come too soon for him.

“I just can’t see myself coming back to training, running for three weeks and being fit for the season,” said Soward, who made his Penrith debut in the tournament last year.

The playmaker said his ankle was “going good,” adding: “The medical team is pretty happy with how [the surgery] went. I’m still getting used to running around; it just feels a little bit different.

“I’ve still probably got eight weeks before I can really start getting into playing.”

Soward said he was only running at 50 per cent of his capacity, but felt confident of being ready for Round 1 at home to the Bulldogs on 8th March where the Panthers are 1.91.

Halfback Peter Wallace is also expected to be available for the start of the season as he continues his recovery from an ACL injury he suffered in Round 20.

Soward, who stood in for Wallace as captain at the end of the season, said he had no desire to challenge him for the role in the new campaign.

Penrith Panthers areĀ 11.00 to win the Auckland Nines.

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