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Knee 'good enough' for Johnson's return

Star Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson will return to action this Sunday against the Manly Sea Eagles, but admits his injured knee is likely to still give him some problems on the field.

‌Johnson ruptured his PCL back in Round 19 and is set to return a week earlier than expected, having taken part in full training on Wednesday.

"I wouldn't say I am 100 per cent, I don't know if anyone playing in the NRL week in, week out is 100 per cent, but I am good enough to play and that's the main thing," Johnson said.

"If I am fit to go I am playing.

"Leading into this weekend's game I have been able to build my running up and I trained a full session and didn't think about it at all.

"There's probably going to be a little bit [of limitation] there, as with coming back from all injuries. You are a bit prohibited in those areas.

"But I don't think over time it's going to have any impact."

With the Warriors' finals hopes long over and the team on a seven-game losing streak, the decision to bring Johnson back for Sunday's match at Mount Smart Stadium could be considered a risk, particularly with the Rugby League World Cup only months away.

But coach Stephen Kearney said he had full confidence that his playmaker would get through the game.

"He's passed all of the protocol that we put him through, he's ticking those boxes, he is at no more risk than what he was before he got the injury," Kearney said.

"That's how I see it and that's why he has been named in the side this week.

"That's why the physical and medical team are there, so it's an easy decision."

Meanwhile Kearney said he was yet to decide on who would partner Johnson in the halves this weekend despite naming Kieran Foran in the No.6 jersey, along with Ata Hingano on the bench and Mason Lino in the extended reserves.

Foran didn't finish the final seven minutes of last week's 36-18 loss to the South Sydney Rabbitohs, but has trained this week.

"I haven't made my mind up, you will have to wait until Sunday to see who runs out there," Kearney said.

"What I will do is the pick the team that I think is going to do the best job for us on Sunday, and if that's Kieran in the starting five-eighth position then he will be there, if it's Ata then it will be Ata."


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