He suffered an injury that all but ended his season in 2010, but now, the man that is favourite for the Tigers halfback role in 2011, Tim Moltzen – will make his competitive return to League, in the Tigers final trial match.
Despite having overcome his knee problems, a problem which required a full reconstruction due to an ACL injury, there was a setback for Moltzen, with a minor ankle injury preventing him from playing earlier.
Tigers coach Tim Sheens says that he will ease Moltzen back into the game, and give him some time off the bench in the Tigers Foundation Cup clash with the Roosters.
”I’ve got him earmarked to get some time,” he said.
“I’ll use him at periods during the game at both halfback and a fullback role, five-eighth even – I might give Benj [Marshall] a break. I’ll use him in periods through the game and get him through the game, bring up his confidence. There’s a number of things we’ll be trying to achieve with him this week.
‘He’s about 10 or 11 months post-surgery, so he’s pretty good at the moment in respect to the knee. He hasn’t done a lot of the real contact stuff just yet so I need to bring him in slowly.
”I don’t think people should expect a lot from him in game one. And you’ve got to remember he’s only played [a few dozen] first-grade games, too. He’s got a long way to go yet.”
With the injury a big setback in the career of Moltzen, following his break-out year in 2009, Sheens says that the 22-year old utility is progressing well in light of the serious injury.
”Last year was going to be a defining year for him,” Sheens said. ”His ’09 season was brilliant and then in the fifth game [last year] we lost him.
”But he’s matured and he’s watched a lot of footy, which is what happens when you’re injured. He went through the ups and downs of it. It was disappointing for him not to be there when the guys were playing at the back end of the season, but it’s made him hungrier for it. Hopefully we’ll see a very enthusiastic performance from him this year, and I believe we will.”
Sheens has also said that the extensive lay-off may work in Moltzen’s favour, as it will give him a chance to become bigger and stronger.
”It put size on him,” he said.
”[Hooker] Robbie Farah missed the ’04 season with a knee reconstruction, and he came out in ’05 bigger and stronger and better prepared, hungrier for it. I think Timmy’s the same.”