Rooster vows to return, and stay out of trouble
ROOSTERS centre Blake Ferguson has vowed to get back on the paddock this season, despite scans showing a foot ligament injury sustained against Canberra would sideline him for the next four months.
That means Ferguson, rated highly by New South Wales coach Laurie Daley, would be unavailable for this year's Origin series.
The news was a cruel blow for the 25-year-old former Canberra Raider, who was dumped from the Blues camp in 2013 after assaulting a woman at a Cronulla bar, leading to him being banned by the NRL from playing any football last year.
Wearing a moon boot and using crutches at Allianz Stadium yesterday, Ferguson promised he would be back this season, and also gave reporters a guarantee he would stay out of trouble during his rehabilitation.
"I bet you guys will speculate that I'm going to play up again (and get into more off-field strife), but it's not going to happen," he said.
Ferguson (pictured), who scored a try in the opening half in the Roosters' 34-6 win on Sunday, was attempting to get around former Raiders centre partner Jarrod Croker to collect his second try when he suffered the injury.
He tried to play on through the pain, but was eventually forced off in the 58th minute.
"Sixteen weeks, I'll be working hard in the gym to get back as soon as possible for the boys," he said.
Despite Ferguson's absence, Daley still has some good options among the centres for the Blues.
Bulldogs star Josh Morris is a certainty for one centre position, while incumbent Michael Jennings - who missed game three because of injury last year - has started this year better than he began 2014 and will no doubt be strongly considered.
South Sydney's Dylan Walker, sidelined for another three weeks with a broken hand, is also a huge prospect for Daley. The 20-year-old collected four tries from just two games this season before being sidelined. He is expected to return by round seven.
The Roosters, meanwhile, also appear well-placed to cover the loss of the one-game Blues representative Ferguson.
Winger Shaun Kenny-Dowall could revert back to his preferred position of centre, opening up a flank spot for impressive 20-year-old Nene Macdonald.
Macdonald made a spectacular debut for the Roosters against Canterbury in round 11 last year, scoring a try with a high-flying take out wide.
He made his international debut for Papua New Guinea before playing first grade, was selected in last year's NYC Team of the Year, and is regarded as a future Queensland player.