Veteran Vodafone Warriors back rower Simon Mannering has today withdrawn from the Kiwis’ Four Nations campaign in England.
The 30-year-old had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee earlier this month which ruled him out of the Kiwis’ Test against the Kangaroos in Perth last weekend while he continued his rehab in Auckland.
He was due to fly to England with the Kiwis tomorrow but developed some swelling after a training run at the weekend.
After seeing his surgeon Mannering (Kiwi #731) contacted Kiwi coach David Kidwell to notify him he had reluctantly chosen to withdraw from the tour, believing he wouldn’t be able to fully recover in time for the Kiwis’ campaign which kicks off against England in Huddersfield on October 29.
Mannering, whose career tally remains at 41, will continue his rehab at home with a view to starting his preseason training programme with the Vodafone Warriors in early December.
"He’s up and running, but his knee isn’t game ready,” said Kiwi team doctor Greg Macleod.
“We have maintained regular contact with the Warriors' medical staff and we were optimistic that Simon would be ready for the tour. It turns out he needs a bit more time to make a full recovery.”
Penrith Panthers forward James Fisher-Hariis (20) replaces the former Kiwis captain.
“He was really high on our list for the initial squad, but narrowly missed out. We are fortunate to have this calibre of player to call on," said Kidwell.
“He’s come through the NZRL pathways and has performed at a very high level in the NRL. I’m looking forward to getting him in camp.
“Simon is a big loss for us. His leadership, experience and work ethic are really valuable, but I’m confident in my senior playing group to demonstrate those characteristics, on and off the field.”
Fisher-Harris will join the team tomorrow, when they assemble in Auckland before leaving for England.