BRAVE-HEARTED Knights forward Cameron Ciraldo has been cleared to play rugby league again, only five months after a sickening ankle injury that almost ended his career.
Now he just needs to find a game to play in as he is off contract at the end of the season.
The 24-year-old back-rower's playing future hung in the balance when he was stretchered off Toyota Stadium with a dislocated right ankle and broken fibula suffered during Newcastle's 24-12 victory over his former club Cronulla on March 23.
Doctors inserted metal plates and screws and used "tightrope fixation" surgery to put his shattered lower leg back together. Today, after months of painful and painstaking rehabilitation, he will rejoin his teammates for his first session of full training.
"[Knights medical officer] Neil Halpin told me the other day I'm good to go, whatever grade or wherever that is, so if the Knights want me to play, I'm cleared," Ciraldo said.
"I could have got cleared two weeks ago if one of the cracks had healed a bit better, but it's almost five months exactly.
"I'm really grateful to Neil and the surgeon who did the operation, and Broughy [Knights rehabilitation manager Adrian Brough] and all the physios and everyone here that've helped me. I'll be forever thankful to them.
"There's been a lot of hard work but it could have been a lot worse. Neil said if it hadn't recovered properly, I might not have played again, so to be cleared in five months is unreal."
Ciraldo would have played for South Newcastle in the Newcastle Rugby League competition if he was cleared a fortnight ago, but the Lions are now enjoying their off-season break.
There had been speculation he could have played for South's minor