Sonny Bill in doubt for rest of Japan season

JAMES MACSMITH
Last updated 20:08 06/11/2012
Sonny Bill Williams
BRENDAN ESPOSITO/Fairfax Australia
SONNY BILL WILLIAMS: The former All Black will now fight South African Francois Botha in February.

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Sonny Bill Williams' recovery from shoulder surgery is progressing as well as hoped but his immediate sporting future remains unclear.

Williams' manager Khoder Nasser said doctors were happy with his client's progress since undergoing surgery on a minor pectoral muscle tear on October 31, but couldn't confirm when the dual international would be fully fit again.

The nature of the injury could yet rule out Williams for the remainder of the Japanese rugby season which concludes at the end of January.

But he is likely to be fit again to fight South African Francois Botha in Brisbane in mid-February before his much anticipated return to rugby league with Sydney Roosters.

"He is recovering well, but because of where the injury is and how the arm is used in boxing as opposed to rugby these are the things we still have to work through to understand when he will be fit again," Nasser told AAP.

"You use the arm and muscle differently in each sport and with the doctors we are looking at data from other athletes who have suffered similar injuries to see what the recovery timetable is."

The Williams camp is confident of announcing a new date for the rescheduled fight with Botha some time next week, Nasser said.

And while the injury may preclude Williams from returning to play with the Panasonic Wild Knights in Japan, it is unlikely to affect his much hyped return to the NRL with the Roosters.

The NRL is yet to officially release its 2013 draw, but with the Roosters pencilled in to kick off the season with a match against arch-rivals South Sydney on March 7 that would leave Williams little time to get to know his new teammates at Bondi.

"There is a process we are working through," Nasser said.

"Sonny is concentrating on his rehab at the moment and we are confident he will make a full recovery sooner rather than later."

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- AAP

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