Eaton eyes return

New Zealand and Hurricanes and lock Jason Eaton is nearing a return to rugby after a nine months out of the game. [more]

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New Zealand and Hurricanes and lock Jason Eaton is nearing a return to rugby after a nine months out of the game.

The 25-year-old missed the World Cup after undergoing knee reconstruction following a cruciate ligament injury sustained against the Highlanders in Queenstown last April.

Eaton had pencilled in the first pre-season match against the Crusaders on January 25 for his comeback, but a meeting against the Chiefs on February 2 is his new goal.

"I’m still getting up to speed. There’s a lot more work to be done between now and when I play," he told the Taranaki Daily News.

"I’ve been working hard and the strength is slowly coming back. We’ve been doing contact this week, but it’s fatigue more than anything.

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"It was a year to forget. It was disappointing, but injuries are part of rugby and I’m just thankful I’m back playing."

Should he be fit in time, Eaton will be in contention for a place in the Hurricanes first squad of the Super 14 season against the NSW Waratahs on February 15.

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