David Skipwith is the Herald's rugby league reporter

NRL: Tuivasa-Sheck aims to make comeback at Nines

23-year-old Tuivasa-Sheck was recently given the green light to begin light running and hopes to resume full contact training before Christmas. Photo / Jason Oxenham
23-year-old Tuivasa-Sheck was recently given the green light to begin light running and hopes to resume full contact training before Christmas. Photo / Jason Oxenham

Warriors fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is on track with his recovery from a season-ending knee injury and hoping to hit the ground running at next year's NRL Auckland Nines.

In his first season with the Warriors, Tuivasa-Sheck managed just seven games before rupturing his ACL in their win over the Bulldogs in Wellington in April.

The 23-year-old was recently given the green light to begin light running and hopes to resume full contact training before Christmas.

"It's going good and I'm on track," said Tuivasa-Sheck.

"I'm out running on the field again and moving well so I'm looking forward to being able to play next season.

"I've been running for just over three weeks and doing three sessions a week.

I will have a final test at the back end of November or early December, which is kind of a 'return to sport' test.

"If I pass that one I'll be able to start full contact training in December."

The 2015 Dally M Fullback of the Year arrived as the Warriors' marquee off-season recruit, after four seasons at the Sydney Roosters where he enjoyed premiership success as part of the Tricolours side that beat Manly in the 2013 grand final.

His playing comeback is being overseen by Warriors rehabilitation strength and power coach Brendan Inkster and the club's NRL physiotherapists John Love and Luke Wilson, who last year assisted halfback Shaun Johnson's return from a broken ankle.

Although the majority of the Warriors squad are either enjoying their offseason break or preparing for next week's Kiwis transtasman test against Australia in Perth and their Four Nations defence in the UK, Tuivasa-Sheck has not been short of company among the club's rehab group.

"I've had a squad with me," he said. "Sione Lousi who did his knee a week after I did mine, Ben Henry, and a few others.

"I've also been doing a bit of boxing with [former Warriors captain] Monty [Betham] to help get some more balance in my knee and I'm doing other stuff in my own time as well."

After a frustrating start in Auckland, Tuivasa-Sheck is excited to play under his former Kiwis mentor and new Warriors head coach Stephen Kearney and pleased that former coach Andrew McFadden has been retained in an assistant's role.

All going to plan, the 11-test Kiwis international is hopeful of making his return at next year's Nines tournament at Eden Park over Waitangi Weekend February 4 and 5, but said the final call would go to the man they call "Mooks".

"I want to say yes but I have to wait and see whether I'm fit and ready to go and if the coach will let me."

- NZ Herald

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