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McKendry brushes off injury

New Zealand prop looks to make speedy return

Last Updated: 10/11/11 6:36am

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Sam McKendry: Hoping to be back in action in eight weeks

Sam McKendry: Hoping to be back in action in eight weeks

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New Zealand prop Sam McKendry has set his sights on playing again in eight weeks after dismissing the broken jaw that ended his Four Nations campaign as "just one of those things".

The 22-year-old suffered the injury following a dangerous shoulder charge by Wales prop Craig Kopczak during the Kiwis' 36-0 win at Wembley on Saturday.

He was on the sidelines on Wednesday as the Kiwis were put through their paces in Leeds ahead of their tournament-defining clash against England before returning to London for a check-up.

With his jaw now plated following a three-hour operation, the Penrith Panthers forward spoke for the first time about the tackle.


"I just saw him (Kopczak) fly out of the line and put a shot on me," he said.

"I got up and felt my mouth. At first I thought I'd lost some teeth and I just kept playing on for a bit.

"I realised then that something wasn't quite right. I could feel part of my jaw moving around.

"It's a setback but it's just one of those things. That's football. It's the first time I've broken anything.

"I've been told I should be right to return to full training in eight weeks and I should be able to start running again fairly soon."

Kopczak was facing a one-match ban after being found guilty by an international match-review panel of an illegal tackle but was let off with a caution when he faced a disciplinary hearing.

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