Jorge Taufua has already resigned himself to the fact he will probably miss all of Manly’s preseason trial matches as he battles to be fit for the start of the new season.
It is likely Taufua will sit out next month’s Auckland Nines tournament and the club’s two trial matches in February following multiple surgeries over the off-season.
“Unfortunately, I think round one is the aim at the moment. It will be disappointing to miss the trials but I just hope I can get back as fast as I can,” Taufua said.
The destructive winger went under the knife to repair damage to his shoulder and ankle sustained earlier this year and only recently commenced running.
“[Recovery] has been pretty good so far. I’m just trying to stay on top of things with physio and rehab,” Taufua said.
“It’s going really well and it’s good to be on the field running and seeing the boys doing their stuff. It won’t be long now until I join the team.”
The 23-year-old was forced out of the opening five weeks of last year’s season after dislocating his shoulder during a trial match against Parramatta.
He returned in round six before being dealt another blow almost three months later as he limped from the field with an ankle injury against the Bulldogs in round 17.
“[The ankle] is not 100 per cent at the moment but it’s better than it has been in months,” Taufua said.
“My confidence was a bit low (last season). I had two surgeries in the off-season on my ankle and shoulder, and as I said, it’s all going well on the recovery.”
Steve Matai, Jamie Buhrer and Brenton Lawrence have joined the winger in Manly’s casualty ward.
“There are a fair few of us who have had surgery over the off-season. We’re all slowly starting to make our way back to full training,” Taufua said.
“We all want to be out together on the field with the rest of the squad.”