A well-earned break


The Canberra Times is reporting that Jordan Rapana is going to have some maintenance work done on his knee. He’ll be good for pre-season training in the new year.

It’s reported as a cyst being removed, and a clean out – I’m no doctor so I’ve no idea if those two are related. You might wince at the thought of old man Rapana getting knee surgery, point out that it’s never that simple once players get to a certain age. I guess it’s fair to worry about it. But given he just played through a World Cup with this, it’s safe to say this is probably relatively minor surgery.

Indeed it could be a blessing in disguise. The elongated season that Rapana just played – 21 NRL games and a heap of internationals – would have taken its toll on the elder statesman. The opportunity for surgery will provide a well-earned break, and ensure he’s properly rested for the 2023 season. Given he’s likely to be a round one starter, that’s of the utmost importance.

Given the collective bargaining rules give players a 8 week break at the end of the season, Rapana would have unlikely been back at training immediately, and Coach Stuart would have been a fool to ask him. Surgery will prepare his body better and prevent the Raiders from doing anything silly in the meantime.

That doesn’t mean it’s not worth paying attention to. Anyone whose knees felt like mine this morning knows that the body doesn’t bounce back with the same vigour as it gets older. We wrote recently about how Jordy is approaching that imaginary line whereby a players mortality becomes more real than we’d prefer. We’d say it’s worth keeping an eye on Rapana, but given he’s entering a contract year, it’s safe to say the Milk will be closely monitoring his situation regardless.

This surgery likely won’t affect the Raiders in any substantial way. It’s just another reminder Jordan’s time for the Milk is not permanent.

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