UPDATED: The Roosters will officially have a full-strength squad to pick from this afternoon with the return from injury of back-rower Aidan Guerra.
The club confirmed this morning that:
Dr John Orchard tweeted this afternoon the nature of the injury that kept Guerra out for the past two games, after starting in the first round:
According to Wikipedia the bursae — the plural for bursa — of the knee are:
The fluid sacs and synovial pockets that surround and sometimes communicate with the joint cavity. Thin-walled and filled with synovial fluid, they represent the weak point of the joint, but also produce enlargements to the joint space.
Having an infection of a fluid sac around the knee sounds grosser than it probably is in reality, but now that the infection has cleared up the Roosters are faced with that selection headache we alluded to at the start of the season.
The list of first-grade level back-rowers now reads like this: Sonny Bill Williams, Boyd Cordner, Frank-Paul Nuuasala, Mitchell Aubusson, Aidan Guerra and Luke O’Donnell.
Sonny Bill and Boyd are definite starters for this team, and Marty Kennedy and Daniel Mortimer provide the front-row/hooker rotation off the bench, leaving three available slots for four players.
I suspect that Guerra will return from injury through NSW Cup, but should he be match fit, Trent Robinson has a crucial choice on his hands.
Aubusson has played very well off the bench, and provides insurance for injuries in the back line with his versatility But is his utility value negated by the versatility of Daniel Mortimer who can cover injuries in the halves, or vice versa? And he ran the ball just twice in 50+ minutes last week – but tackled his butt off in a defence-first win against the Broncos.
O’Donnell played just 27 minutes last week, but does provide extra go-forward off the bench and was one of the club’s highly-touted signings in the offseason. despite all this, does he become the odd man out?
Or is it Nuuasala, who has been underwhelming in attack for the Roosters and gave away two cheap penalties last week, but is stronger in defence than Aubo and Guerra.
Finally, does Guerra get left out despite being a unique runner of the ball who can create opportunities where there are none – especially considering the Roosters haven’t scored more than 16 points in three games?
Trent Robinson must feel like Ron Burgundy today – wondering whether he should jump into the bear pit and save the woman he once had familiar relations with, or chase the story of his career.
Gaah, he is in a pickle!
I fully suspect they’ll bring Guerra back through NSW Cup, but it will be interesting to see how the back row and bench shapes up with a full complement of second-rowers to choose from.
My guess is that Guerra will find it hard to make it back into the squad – but Frank-Paul will be put on notice to pick up his energy levels in attack and to stop giving away penalties or face getting sized up for a Newtown jersey.