June 23, 2024

After being sighted last week wearing a moon boot, halfback Shaun Johnson of the New Zealand Warriors has been cleared of any major ankle damage.

Johnson reportedly only sustained the ailment last week, and the moon boot raised concerns about a possible syndesmosis damage.

NRL 2023: Shaun Johnson cleared to play for Warriors in preliminary final |  news.com.au — Australia's leading news site

That might have kept Johnson out of the game for as long as two months, which would have eliminated his chances of contributing early to the Warriors in 2024. The Warriors will be looking to build on their unexpected run to the preliminary finals in 2023, in which Johnson was a key player.

However, the club in Auckland said that Johnson merely had a mild ankle sprain, which was verified by scans. This was a huge lift for the team.

As of right now, Johnson will be available for the team’s season opener on Friday, March 8 against the Cronulla Sharks. However, it is unclear how Johnson will fare in the preseason challenge matches, which the Warriors play on February 18 in Christchurch against the Wests Tigers and on February 24 in Auckland against the Dolphins.

Since Andrew Webster had to choose his halves partner rather than Johnson, it seems Johnson would not have played much in those matches anyhow. Te Maire Martin, Luke Metcalf, and Chanel Harris-Tavita—all of whom are making a comeback—are thought to be contenders for the number six jersey in the opening game of the season.

The Warriors have a challenging start to the season after hosting the Canberra Raiders and Newcastle Knights, playing the Melbourne Storm on the road, and playing their first game of the season away to the South Sydney Rabbitohs in April. This comes after their season opener against the Sharks.

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