The situation at the Cowboys is set to get worse, after news today that gamebreaking fullback Matt Bowen will miss the rest of the 2008 NRL year to undergo extensive surgery to fix cartilage damage in his problematic right knee.
The former Queensland State of Origin representative has rarely been able to play this year after off-season surgery and a follow up procedure after his last game against South Sydney in round eight.
“We have exhausted all avenues to get Matthew back on the field this season and it is in his best interests that we go down this path to get him back to full fitness,”said Cowboys football manager Dean Lance.
“At all times our players are most important, and considering Matthewâ€™s ability and standing in the club it is important that we do the right thing and not rush him along.”
Bowen will undergo surgery next month where cartilage that was taken from Bowen’s knee and has been grown on an artificial matrix will be used to repair the problem area.
Doctors estimate a 6-9 month period for Bowen to recover full strength in his knee, meaning the 2008 NRL season is a write-off and all focus should be on getting ready for Round 1, 2009.
The loss of Bowen for the rest of 2008 is another major setback to a horror NRL year for the Cowboys as they languish at 2nd last spot on the NRL table and are in the midst of a 7-game losing streak. The Cowboys have lurched from one disaster to another, losing their coach and feeling the heat after consistent injuries to key players so far this year.