Connor Watson has revealed he has torn his groin twice over the past three weeks and is unlikely to be back on the field before Newcastle’s clash against Cronulla in the penultimate round of the competition.
The Knights five-eighth hasn’t played since his side’s 30-24 win over the Gold Coast Titans almost three weeks ago, missing games against North Queensland, Wests Tigers and is out of Friday night’s clash against the Warriors.
He rates himself only a 50-50 chance of recovering in time to take on the Panthers on Saturday week.
“I’ll see how it goes next week but it’s something I obviously want to get right and not do it any worse and have to have surgery,” Watson said.
Ironically, Watson wasn’t even aware he had done too much damage after finishing the game against the Titans.
His groin “stiffened up” late in the game but it wasn’t until the following morning he realised he was in some bother.
“I struggled to get out of bed it was that stiff and sore,” he said.
“I was struggling to walk and when I went in, they were a bit surprised how bad I was. I got it scanned and it came up I had a strain and a slight tear on the tendon.”
Even then, the club’s medical staff thought he was still a chance of taking on the Cowboys.
“They thought I might have been right which is why I went to Townsville for the Cowboys game,” he said.
“But I got up there and tried to run during the captain’s run and I couldn’t even take off so I had to pull out.”
Over the course of the next week, Watson improved and showed no real effects of the injury until the final five minutes of the captain’s run the day before the Tigers match when he re-tore it.
“I thought I was ready to play. I had sprinted, stepped, made tackles during the captain’s run without any problem at all,” he said.
“But then in the last five minutes of the session, I just went down to pick up a ball from dummy-half and as I crouched, I just felt it pop and re-tear.
“I had a scan straight after I did it last week that confirmed it and I had an x-ray yesterday on my pelvis just to make sure I hadn’t damaged that too. It’s all clear. They are saying two weeks but I’m no better than 50-50 for the Penrith game.
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“It’s probably going to more likely be the Sharks game the week after so I should definitely be back for that.”
Watson is wary of taking a risk with it to get back early.
“Next week, we’ll see how it goes. It will just depend if I can get through the week alright,” he said.
“But it’s one of those things. Because they sort of pushed it a bit last time, they are going to be a bit more conservative with it this time, especially now that we are out of finals contention.”
Watson admits the club’s shocking run of injuries has been frustrating.
“I think me, Kalyn [Ponga] and Pearcey have only played two games together,” he said.