Navarro relishing return for Razorbacks
R E T U R N I N G R a z o r b a c k Jake Navarro reckons the strapping on his knee will be like a red rag to a bull today.
But the defiant striker invited the Sunshine Coast to do their worst when he runs out for North Queensland for the first time in 11 months in their round two State League clash at Ayr’s International Park.
Navarro was f orced t o undergo a knee reconstruction after suffering the injury in the most bittersweet of fashions just three games into the 2010 season – in the process of scoring a stunning goal.
The end of the long, hard road back has been met by a mix of nerves and excitement, but no fear of confronting the defending champions.
‘‘ The intensity’s up again and I’m ready to go . . . I’ll go hard this year,’’ Navarro said.
Navarro will be eased back in, playing just 45 minutes for the next two games.
But the marksman knows that doesn’t mean his opponents will go any easier on him.
‘‘ I’ll just have to keep movi ng, because t hey’re big fellas, they’ll try and put a knock on me, I bet, especially if they see the strapping on my knee,’’ Navarro said. ‘‘ It’ll be fun. I enjoy being targeted up front – it’ll be a little challenge for me.’’
After injury ruined at least part of his past two seasons, Navarro first has his sights set on playing every game, while a goal-a-match average is also on his to-do list. He’d love nothing more than to start against the Fire, who are building a strong rivalry with the Pigs.
Ra z o r b a c k s c o a c h Ke n Mitchell said even playing just half a game, Navarro’s return would be a significant boost.