General Turner slow to recover from surgery


From the dreaded Fox Sports. Pretty stink that Crocker might the edge on him.

Turner slow to recover from surgery
By Karl deKroo
January 27, 2006

THE make-up of Melbourne Storm's back row for the new season has become clouded, with hard-working Glen Turner almost certain to miss the club's three trial matches.

Turner's recovery from off-season ankle surgery has been slower than expected, and he is a long shot to be fit for the round one game against New Zealand Warriors in Auckland on March 12.

Storm coach Craig Bellamy had been hoping to use trials against Parramatta and Brisbane to work out his best forward combination, before a new-look Storm opens its season with a treacherous five-game road trip.

"It is a bit of a setback for us with both 'GT' and Dennis Scott not available," Bellamy said.

"We are hoping GT should be right for round one, but again it depends on how fit we can get him.

"He isn't training with the full squad yet, so he has a bit of ground to make up."

Scott's career remains in limbo because of a bulging disc in his neck.

There is hope Scott, 29, will play on after he resumed training last week.

"Dennis has started a graduated weights program and he has started running and he is coping with that quite nicely," Storm manager of physical performance Mary Toomey said yesterday.

"Whether he is able to play again is a decision that has to be made down the track.

"We have to get him back into a more football-based program first and see how he responds to that. At this stage he is feeling confident about things but it is a bit early to tell.

"In the end the decision will be his. We will give him all the advice possible, but he will have to make the call."

Should Turner, who finished 2005 in the starting pack, miss the beginning of the season, former Sydney Roosters forward Michael Crocker is likely to fit directly into the pack alongside Kiwi Test forward David Kidwell and lock Dallas Johnson.

Jamie Feeney and young guns Ryan Hoffman, Jeremy Smith and Sam Tagataese are also vying for the back row and bench spots.

Bellamy said all players would be given a chance to push for places during the trials, the first of which is against Parramatta at Ballina on the New South Wales North Coast on February 11.

"At this stage the first game in Ballina and the last one in Toowoomba will be our main targets for the full-time squad," Bellamy said.

"I am keen to give the senior guys a week off in between. We want them to get some game time obviously, but at the same time it is a long season ahead."

Bellamy will consider using key-position players such as halfback Cooper Cronk in the club's second trial, also against the Eels, in Griffith.

Cronk is set to get first shot at filling the hole left by Matt Orford's departure to Manly.

Teenager Greg Inglis, who this week was invited to attend an Australian Test camp in Sydney, is set to join Matt King in the centres.

King and fellow Test players Jake Webster and Kidwell have resumed full training after being given an extended break before Christmas.


1. Slater
2. Webster
3. Inglis
4. King
5. Geyer
6. Hill
7. Cronk

Still looks like a pretty potent backline, but question marks hang over Cronk, and the Melbourne front row. Depth could be a problem too, although they have superstar Chris Walker this year. lol.

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