Creagh: Slower Than Expected
By Jack Brady (NRL.com)
Injured Dragons co-captain Ben Creagh is in no rush for his future to be determined as he races the clock to recover from a long-term knee injury to play again this season.
Two knee surgeries in the space of the seven weeks earlier this year has put Creagh on the shelf since the Dragons' first win of the season in Round 3.
Off-contract at season's end and just four games short of being the Club's most-capped player ever, Creagh has put any conjecture over his future to the side as he continues his rehab.
"I'm not sure I have to convince myself to play again. It's just a matter of seeing how my knee responds after all this time off and see how the body responds with this time off as well," Creagh said.
"It's not ideal when you're off-contract and thinking about retirement to make a decision but I need to wait until I'm back playing again to make a decision over my future.
"Mary (Dragons coach Paul McGregor) has been a great support to me. He's told me to take my time getting the leg right and we'll start talking contracts once I'm back playing again."
Creagh's slow recovery means he has no timeframe for his likely return. He said an infection following his first surgery had seen the muscles surrounding his knee "waste away".
"It's been a long process. The second surgery set me back a long way. You lose a lot of strength, a lot of muscle and that's what rehab is about. That and trying to get the speed and function back in my leg for it to work again properly," said Creagh.
"I wish I had [a timeframe]. I wish I could say I was playing in three weeks but I really can't because it's week to week thing with me. It's how I progress at training and so far it's getting better but unfortunately it's a slower recovery than I would've liked."
Only points differential is keeping the Dragons out of the top eight after 16 rounds but Creagh said the Red V were building at the right time of the year.
"We haven't fired yet I don't think, especially in attack. We still haven't played one of those games where we have played perfect all across the park. We usually get one of those a season but we haven't done that yet," Creagh said.
"That's where you get plenty of confidence from those games. It does seem to be flowing a lot better in the past two weeks though.
"It's not so jerky anymore either because Benji [Marshall] and Gareth [Widdop] look more comfortable. So it's coming together at the right time of the year."