Sydney Roosters captain Boyd Cordner and his deputy Jared Waerea-Hargreaves are expected to be fit for the NRL club’s pre-season opener against Penrith after successful stem cell knee procedures.
Both were expected to take part in full contact sessions by the end of January, but are still training away from the main group at the Roosters after undergoing treatment last month.
But the Roosters said the pair would be available for selection for their opening trial against the Panthers at Penrith Stadium on February 17.
“In a positive boost for the side, the procedure was successful and the pair are progressing well in their rehabilitation since their return from break,” the Roosters website said.
“They have both been participating in partial team training and are expected to be fit for our first trial match against the Penrith Panthers in February.
“All other Roosters World Cup participants have returned to full contact training.”
The Roosters also have a pre-season trial against Manly at Central Coast Stadium on February 24.
Kangaroos forward Cordner had fat tissue injected into his knee, following Australia’s successful Rugby League World Cup title defence.
The stem cell treatment is expected to regenerate damaged cartilage there.
Kangaroos teammate Aaron Woods had the same procedure back in 2013 with success while ex-NSW No.7 Trent Hodkinson and Roosters signing James Tedesco also used stem cell treatment to repair their knees.
It is a confidence boost for off contract Roosters leader Cordner who has been troubled by knee injuries the past two years.
Cordner is now expected to renew contract talks after strong interest from Newcastle and the Gold Coast.
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