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Deans cautious over Cooper return
ESPN Staff
May 18, 2012
Reds' fly-half Quade Cooper warms up for training alongside wing Digby Ioane, ahead of his return to competitive rugby following his recovery from an anterior crucuate ligament injury at Ballymore Stadium, Brisbane, Australia, May 16, 2012
Quade Cooper is set to return for the Reds this weekend © PA Photos
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Players/Officials: Quade Cooper
Tournaments/Tours: Scotland tour | Super Rugby
Teams: Australia

Wallaby head coach Robbie Deans insists it is too early to say whether Quade Cooper will be ready to return for Australia against Scotland next month.

The fly-half is set to make his long-awaited comeback for the Reds on Saturday after recovering from a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament injury that has kept him on the sidelines since Australia's victory over Wales in the third place play-off at last year's Rugby World Cup.

Deans will announce his squad for the match just a few days before the June 5 Test against Scotland with the Waratahs, Melbourne Rebels and Brumbies all having Super Rugby fixtures the weekend prior to the Test. The return of Cooper would therefore be a major boost for Deans with a number of players likely to be unavailable and star playmaker James O'Connor already an injury doubt.

"'It's a bit early yet, because he is just returning to the field," Deans told the Sydney Morning Herald. "So for Quade, this is like a first pre-season fixture. He's got to get rugby under his belt, he has to get his match fitness up, and then he has to thrive. We're not really looking at it either way at the moment. We'll just observe, and respond to what we see. That will include discussion with Quade."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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