Cooper closes in on return

Reds call off Cooper appeal

Reds and Wallaby fly-half Quade Cooper could be back in action within weeks, but the Reds won't rush his return.

Cooper tore his anterior cruciate ligament during last year's World Cup third/fourth play-off game against Wales and was forced to undergo extensive reconstructive surgery.

As a result, the 24-year-old has not yet turned out for the Reds this season but is now running in training and is edging toward a comeback - although Reds coach Ewen McKenzie refuses to put an exact date on his return.

"When he's right, he'll be right," McKenzie is quoted as telling Rugby Heaven.

"He's running today. He's edging his way back. We can only put him out there when he's confident everything's right. Unless he goes out there and is 100 per cent, he's not much value.

"We've got to get to that point and he's not far away. But it's not going to be tomorrow."

McKenzie reveals that the final decision as to when Cooper returns will lie with the player himself.

"In the end, it's the player. It's the player's knee and he knows how it feels. It's a much slower process than people think. It goes up and down. It's not an exact science," he explained.

"People say these injuries can be six to nine months, so you've got a three-month fudge. We're working on the six side of things but some might take nine. It really depends.

"The good thing for Quade is he's been ahead of the rehab timetable the whole way. In effect, he's way ahead of where he would be in a normal situation.

"Everyone is gauging it is when is he going to be on the field. Well, sooner rather than later."