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Cooper set for April return
ESPNscrum Staff
October 28, 2011
An injured Quade Cooper acknowledges the Eden Park crowd, Rugby World Cup, Australia v Wales, Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand, October 21, 2011
Fans of the Reds will hope they see Cooper back in action sooner rather than later © Getty Images
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Queensland Reds fly-half Quade Cooper has undergone successful surgery on his knee and should be back on the field sooner than first expected.

The Reds have targeted an April 6 return for their talismanic fly-half when they face the Brumbies. The projected return date would mean Cooper would only miss the opening six games of the 18-round season. Cooper tore his anterior cruciate ligament in Australia's bronze medal play-off with Wales and Reds coach Ewen McKenzie has backed Cooper to recover from his setback.

"Quade's operation went smoothly with surgery results confirming the circumstances of his injury are typical to what you normally expect from a torn ACL," McKenzie said. "We're confident he'll return in the quickest time possible and hopefully in time for the Brumbies in early April.

"There's no doubting Quade's professional approach to the game and he will work tirelessly with our medical staff to ensure he is back on the field sooner rather than later. That's just the type of person he is."

In Cooper's absence, McKenzie will look within the Queensland resources rather than pursuing a short-term measure. "Recruitment and retention has been priority number one since I joined the Reds and we've developed a roster that can not only survive the loss of Quade, but thrive in his absence," he said. "We used 37 players on our way to winning the Super Rugby competition last year and that collective effort is again going to be the focus of our success. The whole group needs to step up.

"It's disappointing to lose Quade but we have a number of capable players who can step in and excel in his absence. Within our contracted squad Mike Harris, Jono Lance, Ben Lucas and Ben Tapuai all have experience at the position, while Dallan Murphy and Ulupano Seuteni in our Extended Playing Squad are also young and exciting prospects at the playmaking position.

"I don't have any preconceived ideas at this stage on who will be selected. It's up to those individuals to now impress in the opportunities they will be given."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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