New Zealand World Cup boost for injured Shaun Johnson
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 17/07/17 10:47am
New Zealand half-back Shaun Johnson is set to play in the 2017 World Cup after scans showed his knee injury is not as bad as first feared.
It was thought the 26-year-old damaged his anterior cruciate ligament during New Zealand Warriors' 34-22 defeat by Penrith on Friday, which would have ruled him out of the end-of-season World Cup.
However, Johnson, whose last-minute converted try broke England hearts in the 2013 semi-final at Wembley, has been told he will be sidelined for six to eight weeks.
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That timeframe means he is unlikely to play again this season for his club, who have seven games left, but should be fit for the Kiwis' opening World Cup game against Samoa on October 28.
"This is a much better outcome than we had expected," said Warriors doctor John Mayhew.
"We had believed the injury was likely to be an ACL but scans have indicated this isn't so and Shaun won't need surgical intervention to repair the injury."
Meanwhile, South Sydney stand-off John Sutton has made himself available for Fiji, who have reached the last four at each of the last two World Cups.
Sutton, who has played a record 276 games for the Rabbitohs, is eligible to play for the Mick Potter-coached 'Bati' through his Fiji-born mother, Rotuma.