Tate putting in the hard yards

Townsville Bulletin - - NRL 2011 - by Michael Thompson michael. thompson@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

BRENT Tate is on the brink of pass­ing a sig­nif­i­cant mile­stone in hi s r e c o v e r y f r o m a s e a s o n crip­pling in­jury.

Tate, 28, in­jured his knee for the third time in his dec­o­rated ca­reer in last year’s Four Na­tions grand fi­nal and many pun­dits won­dered whether the for­mer Bris­bane Bronco and New Zealand War­rior would ever re­turn to the NRL again.

For a while Tate was im­mo­bilised and us­ing crutches, but progress was quick enough for the rep­re­sen­ta­tive cen­tre to be walk­ing com­fort­ably about the end of Jan­uary. Now he is about to start run­ning on his heal­ing knee.

‘‘ I’m go­ing to see Peter My­ers, my sur­geon, on Thurs­day and hope­fully he’ll give me the go ahead to start run­ning. I’m due to start run­ning in the next cou­ple of weeks so that’ll ba­si­cally just en­tail run­ning on a tread­mill and then build­ing my way up to run­ning out­side,’’ Tate said.

‘‘ I’m do­ing a lot more weight­wise on it. I’m do­ing leg weights three days a week at the mo­ment and I’ve just started do­ing a lit­tle bit of road cy­cling as well.

‘‘ So it’s all start­ing to ramp up a bit now. I’m past that three­month mark and run­ning is a huge mile­stone ob­vi­ously and hope­fully I’ll get the green light for that.

‘‘ It’s ba­si­cally just a check-up any­way and it hap­pens to be around this time.’’

Tate’s well-known work ethic has been ap­plied in spades in his battle to re­turn to NRL footy and he ad­mits the hec­tic re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion regime leaves lit­tle time for offfield du­ties with the club.

‘‘ To be hon­est I’ve been that flat out with the train­ing that I don’t have that much time to do any­thing else. It’s pretty full-on and it will be staying that way for the next cou­ple of months,’’ he said.

‘‘ I like it that way and I’ve ob­vi­ously got to do the work now so that when I come back play­ing and play­ing at a de­cent level.’’

Tate trav­elled with the team for their pre-sea­son trip to Dar­win a n d Al i c e S p r i n g s a n d a l s o watched from the side­lines as the Cow­boys went down to the Gold Coast Ti­tans 24-22 in their fi­nal trial game of the year.

Beaten on the buzzer by a Scott Prince con­ver­sion, Tate said the Cow­boys prob­a­bly de­served a re­sult in the lead up to Fri­day’s sea­son opener against his for­mer club.

‘‘ I got a heap of con­fi­dence out of it. We were re­ally good on the night and I thought we were re­ally un­lucky not to win be­cause I think we were in con­trol for most part of that game,’’ he said.

‘‘ Per­son­ally, I think as a club we got a huge amount of con­fi­dence out of that per­for­mance and it’ll put us in a good frame of mind to play the Bron­cos.

‘‘ But we’re go­ing to have to be com­pet­i­tive up front for Bris­bane be­cause that’s their strength. They’ve got a re­ally good for­ward pack. That’s the chal­lenge for us.’’

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