By ISAAC LIRI
PAPUA New Guinea Hunters hooker Wartovo Puara Jr, pictured, is likely to miss the first four games of the Queensland Cup at the start of the competition in March.
This was revealed by coach Michael Marum last week when announcing the 29-man squad for this season.
Marum said the 26-year-old East New Briton underwent major surgery to his left shoulder during the off-season and was currently undergoing rehabilitation.
“Puara is on rehab,” Marum said.
“He just completed a rehab session this week and will be travelling to Brisbane for a review next week so he is just waiting for confirmation.
“The bad news is that we won’t see him play until round four or five,” Marum said.
Although the loss of Puara is seen to be a major loss in the camp as pre-season training continues, Marum is confident that other potential hookers in the side like Gahuna Silas, Lawrence Tu’u and Noel Joel can take on the job.
“There is no rush in getting him back.
“We have Joel back in the squad, Gahuna can fill in the position well and, of course, Tu’u is capable,” the coach said.
Marum praised the pocket dynamo Gahuna, who had some impressive games at the end of last year.
The Lae Snax Tigers premiership hooker Joel was given thumbs up for his effort last season and eventually making the Prime Minister’s 13 team and Tu’u who has been out for one year and is hungrier to be back.
Puara is one of the original Hunters named in 2014 who will be playing with the club in his fourth consecutive season.
By ISAAC LIRI