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Merritt no closer to NRL return

South Sydney don't appear any closer to welcoming back star winger Nathan Merritt, as the NRL's most potent try-scorer continues to battle a rare toe injury.
Merritt no closer to NRL return
by NRL

By Ben Horne

SYDNEY, April 4 AAP - South Sydney don't appear any closer to welcoming back star winger Nathan Merritt, as the NRL's most potent try-scorer continues to battle a rare toe injury.

Merritt has been told rest is the only cure for the frustrating problem which causes the flyer immense pain when he attempts to run.

Merritt was expected back by this stage of the season, but his extended absence is a further blow to the Rabbitohs who last weekend lost powerhouse forward Sam Burgess for up to eight weeks with a knee injury.

The 28-year-old Merritt is one of just 10 per cent of the population who has two little bones, instead of one, on either side of the main bone in his big toe.

He has inflamed cartilage around that area and must wait until that settles down before he can take the field again.

The Rabbitohs medical team has even sought advice from AFL and American NFL sources about how best to handle the injury.

Souths escaped with a miraculous golden point win over the Wests Tigers on Sunday, but realise they'll need to improve drastically if they're to beat Canterbury on Friday.

Co-captain Roy Asotasi says his former team the Bulldogs look tough to crack under new mentor Des Hasler and will make the Rabbitohs work for everything at ANZ Stadium.

"Des was pretty successful at Manly, they were one of the great defensive sides and he's obviously taken the same concept over to the Bulldogs and obviously they all believe in it that's why they're sitting second at the moment," said Asotasi, who was also keenly aware of the Bulldogs' attacking threat from the likes of fullback Ben Barba.

"We need to make sure defensively we are very good because they can make you pay with the kind of players they have in their side," Asotasi said.




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