Mouth injury no big deal: Mannering
Ahead of his return to action following a sickening mouth cut sustained in Round 8, Warriors lock Simon Mannering downplayed the injury and said he expects to pick up right where he left off.
The former Warriors captain was forced from the field early in the second half in the 42-0 loss to the Storm on Anzac Day with a serious laceration to the mouth, which later required plastic surgery to reattach his lip to his face.
After receiving around 25 stitches, the injury kept him out of two club games as well as the Kiwis' squad for the mid-year Test, but Mannering said it didn't have a big effect on his weekly training regime.
"It's not that bad to be honest, it definitely would have been a lot worse if I had done something to my jaw or something like that," Mannering said.
"It was probably the best-case scenario...I could do everything pretty much but contact [at training].
"It sort of worked out quite well that I was over there [in Melbourne] and got into the hospital and got it done."
Mannering was in a jovial mood at the club's media day on Wednesday, fending off cheeky suggestions from local journalists that he may have had some other cosmetic work done while he was with the plastic surgeon.
"Does [my nose] look straight does it? Nah, it's still the same nose," he laughed.
"I probably have a few things they could have done, but I didn't get enough time."
On a more serious note his return adds some much-needed defensive security to the middle of the field for the Warriors ahead of Saturday night's clash with the Raiders in New Plymouth.
Averaging 74 minutes per game, and 43 tackles, Mannering is a reliable addition to a team full of inconsistent performers at this point in time.
Coach Andrew McFadden said the 29-year-old had been missed over the past two matches, where the Warriors beat the Dragons 26-10 before falling to Penrith 30-18 last week.
"It's big for us, it's great that we have him back," McFadden said.
"He does a huge amount of work for us, and that had to be picked up in more recent times.
"It's great to have him back and I know he will make a big difference for us."
Saturday night will be the first time an NRL Telstra Premiership match has been held in Taranaki, which is the home region of Warriors hooker Issac Luke.