Minichiello back in the frame?
Sidelined Sydney Roosters fullback Anthony Minichiello will find out today whether his injured ankle has healed enough to start preparing for an early comeback.<br><br>Minichiello fractured his left ankle and damaged ligaments during his side’s Round 2 win over Canberra, with the initial diagnosis ruling him out for a minimum of 12 weeks.<br><br>But with the Roosters struggling for consistency and desperate to have their star custodian back on the field, the 28-year-old will visit the specialist today hoping to be given the all-clear to start walking again for the first time in seven weeks.<br><br>“It’s feeling pretty good at the moment and I’m hoping I can get the (protective) boot off today,” Minichiello told NRL.com. <br><br>“Hopefully the X-ray will show that the fracture is healed which means I can start putting pressure back on the leg and get back to walking.<br><br>“It’s six weeks since the operation and that is the period where the surgeon will take the boot off and determine whether the fracture is healed. <br><br>“The fracture can take anywhere between 6-10 weeks to heal and I’m at the 6-7 week mark at the moment. <br><br>“If it’s healed I can start to walk on it slowly.”<br><br>Minichiello has endured a shocking run of injuries in recent years, having played just 27 games in the past three seasons because of a recurring back injury.<br><br>Ironically, he had played more games than any other player in the four seasons before that but the burden of representative football for NSW and Australia, combined with three consecutive grand final appearances for the Roosters in 2002-04 eventually took its toll.<br><br>Off contract at season’s end and desperate to prove he is still a valuable commodity, Minichiello admitted he was shattered and angry when his latest injury struck just two rounds into the current season but remains hopeful of an early comeback.<br><br>“What will slow me down is the fracture,” he said.<br><br>“If there was no fracture I could definitely put some weight on it today and really start to push the rehab. <br><br>“It really depends on the X-ray today and where the fracture is at. <br><br>“It feels good but it’s just making sure the fracture is okay so I can put pressure on the leg.<br><br>“I just want to get back out there on the field so that I can help the boys – that’s the most frustrating thing.<br><br>“We had three losses in a row before last week and it has been frustrating for all of us but luckily the boys had a win and hopefully we can build on that so that we’re in a good position when I’m coming back.”<br><br>Minichiello said he was confident that he could come to terms with the Roosters on a new contract despite concerns over his body’s ability to last a full season.<br><br>“I’m not too worried about it,” he said. <br><br>“The Roosters were keen to talk about next year before I did the injury which is a positive for myself. <br><br>“I’m not going to rush into anything and they aren’t either. <br><br>“I really just want to get back on the field and play some games and we’ll go from there.”<br><br>Roosters recruitment manager Peter O’Sullivan said no decision would be made on Minichiello’s future until later in the year.<br><br>“We want to see how he goes once he has played a few games,” O’Sullivan said.<br><br>“That was the plan at the start of the year and nothing has changed.<br><br>“The thing for us is to make sure his body is still up to it and we’re hopeful that he’ll get the chance to prove himself in the coming weeks.<br><br>“It’s just a shame for him that he has suffered another serious injury.”