John Bateman returns from injury a month ahead of schedule

John Bateman fractured his eye socket just over three weeks ago, but is set to return to action a month ahead of what was originally expected.

The England international sustained the eye injury following a collision with Penrith forward Viliame Kikau in round eight. He required surgery on his eye and was expecting to face two months on the sidelines.

But Bateman is set to return for Canberra’s round 12 clash against Canterbury on Saturday.

Raiders coach Ricky Stuart told NRL.com: “Johnny rang me from England after the game on Sunday night and said ‘I’ll be right to play’.

“He’s a really good team man and sees we’re struggling in terms of depth and I didn’t think much of it to be quite honest.

“Fortunately for us he’s cleared to play. He’s been a really big boost to the club ever since he got here, his energy and enthusiasm around the team and around training, it’s a great lift to the guys.

“It takes a special sort of person to inspire people and he does that, so it’s a good bit of energy for us today.”

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