Injured Wallabies flyhalf Quade Cooper’s “smooth” recovery from a ruptured achilles tendon has him confident of being available for the start of Australia’s Rugby Championship campaign in July.
In good news for the Wallabies ahead of this year’s Rugby World Cup starting in September in France, Cooper is buoyed by the progress he has made from the serious achilles injury he suffered five months ago in Argentina.
Cooper, 34, said the injury had been “one of the easiest” he had encountered during his lengthy career.
“It’s just a time thing,” the former Queensland Reds star said from the Wallabies’ Gold Coast camp on Thursday.
“The first three months is the most difficult part where you have to sit relatively still and find ways to continue to improve as an athlete and find ways as a person to enjoy your life within the confines of being on crutches and a little scooter, which is very helpful.”
Cooper said he had not set a date for his return to rugby but predicted he would be fit and ready to play some games for his club side, the Hanazono Kintetsu Liners, before the end of the Japanese season in May.
“Ideally, I’ll be playing some football in Japan for my for my club … and that will be the best possible outcome,” he said.
“If I’m able to do that, I’ll be in a place to be able to be selected for the (Rugby Championship) based on my performances there, but outside of that it’s all out of my hands.”
In the meantime, Cooper will continue his recovery alongside fellow injured Wallaby Samu Kerevi (knee) at the Queensland Academy of Sport.
“The process has been amazing. I just want to do my thanks to the QAS for offering their services to myself and Samu,” the veteran of 76 Test appearances said.
“That’s been a huge help having an amazing facility … that has everything in an abundance, and being able to have one-on-one help from our physio and one of the strength and conditioning staff there at the QAS has been amazing.
“It has been a great and smooth journey so far. There have been no setbacks and everything’s on track, so hopefully I can get into running over the next couple of weeks and then go from there.
“I’m not at all worried about coming back from it or how well I’ll play. I’m just enjoying the journey so far, learning about this injury, but also have the opportunity to just continue to get working.
“For me the process of this whole journey has been more about my discipline and the habits that I choose to work on as a person, and those things are everyday things.”