Exciting Panthers five-eighth Te Maire Martin says he isn’t sure whether he’ll play first grade on Monday night when Penrith do battle against the Sydney Roosters.
The 21-year-old made his long-awaited return from a serious shoulder injury during Penrith’s reserve grade clash against Newtown last Saturday afternoon.
Despite some confidence issues early Martin finished the game unscathed, with many predicting he’ll finally return to the NRL on Monday to partner fellow young half Nathan Cleary for the first very time.
However Panthers coach Anthony Griffin – a master of ‘ducks and drakes’ – has once again named Martin in reserve grade to take on his former club Wests Tigers on Saturday afternoon.
Speaking with the Weekender on Wednesday, Martin said he wasn’t 100 per cent sure which game he’ll be playing in.
“I think I’m playing Saturday… that’s all I know,” he said.
“Hook asked me how I went on the weekend and how my shoulder was, and I said it pulled up well.
“He said I needed to get more strength into it because I still can’t lift what I was lifting before I got injured.”
Martin injured his shoulder during Penrith’s clash against Cronulla back in April. He was initially told by his surgeon he would be ruled out for the rest of the season but miraculously fortunes were with the young Kiwi and that wasn’t the case.
“When it happened I was told I would be getting surgery and I’d be out for the whole year… I didn’t like that news,” Martin said.
“Fortunately the surgeon was happy with how it was healing. I did a whole lot of rehab, which was probably tougher than playing but, after a tough 15 weeks, I got through it.”
Martin said he was excited about the prospect of partnering with Cleary.
Nathan Taylor is the Western Weekender’s award-winning sports journalist. Nathan is also the Weekender’s Deputy Editor.