At last Jamie Booth has had a clearance from his surgeon a year and two weeks after he seriously dislocated his left knee.
The Manawatu-contracted halfback now needs the OK from trainer Scott Pinfold and team physiotherapist Jen Sweeting.
"Medically from the [Auckland-based] surgeon's point of view, the knee is fine," Booth said. "Now it's all about getting back into contact work in the next three or four weeks and getting back playing."
If Booth gets through all that he is likely to play for one of the Massey University colts' teams. "I didn't think I would play all year; I can't wait."
It means he will also be able to shear off his long locks which he vowed not to do until he played.
Meanwhile, Papa Wharewera and Kayne Hammington are expected to be the two halfbacks for the Manawatu Evergreens side who play the Hurricanes in the 40-minute quadrangular from 6pm on Wednesday evening.
If those two end up on the Turbos' payroll, as well as Booth, that could mean no room the highly experienced Te Kawau halfback Toby Morland.
Manawatu coach Jason O'Halloran has six vacancies to fill in his squad and one of the contracts will be offered to College Old Boys prop Tim Cadwallader when he returns from the New Zealand under-20s campaign in Auckland.
He has appeared in both games for the under-20s, starting as tighthead prop in Tuesday's win over Scotland at Pukekohe.
Two wings are required so the Evergreens game will be a trial for Willie Paia'aua. Another prospect is Kia Toa's burly Nathan Tudreu, although he is being troubled by a hamstring injury.
O'Halloran appreciated the clubs playing double-headers to shorten their season so none of the players have been taken out of club rugby tomorrow.
"In the first instance we weren't going to do anything during the club season," O'Halloran said.
The public will get an early look at Linton Army's talented fullback Hamiora Thomas.
Prop Hubert Buydens has gone from Te Kawau to play internationals for Canada and will be back for the Turbos season. Manawatu's Callum Gibbins, Nehe Milner-Skudder and Chris Eves will be with the Hurricanes team.
Meanwhile injuries to Dan Law (elbow) and Matt Gardner (foot) have ruled them out.
Manawatu Evergreens squad:
Backs: Papa Wharewera (Linton Army), Kayne Hammington (Feilding), Jade Te Rure (Kia Toa), Otere Black (COB), Hamish Northcott (Varsity), Troy Smith (OBM), Osea Rokubu (Te Kawau), Nathan Ramsay (Feilding), Nathan Tudreu (Kia Toa), Newton Tudreu (Kia Toa), Willie Paia'aua (COB), Lewis Marshall (Petone), Hamiora Thomas (Linton Army). Forwards: Nick Grogan (Varsity), Isaac Gulliver (OBM), Rob Foreman (Varsity), Bryn Templeman (Kia Toa), Mosese Havea (Feilding), Robin Praat (Varsity), Fraser Stone (Kia Toa), Tom Hughes (Varsity), Inia Rasovo (Kia Toa), Heiden Bedwell-Curtis (Feilding), Doug Juszczyk (Varsity), Rhys Pedersen (OBM), Antonio Kiri Kiri (OBM).
- Manawatu Standard
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