NRL boss Andrew Abdo has praised the Sydney Roosters’ conservative approach to recovery for skipper Boyd Cordner, who is set to miss at least the first 12 rounds of the season due to concussion.
The Roosters have applied for salary-cap relief worth $350,000 after the club opted to rest him for at least 12 weeks following his troubling head knock suffered while playing State of Origin I.
Under the NRL’s representative laws, the club is entitled to salary cap dispensation if a player is injured playing for their state or country and misses at least 12 games.
The Roosters are considered one of the leading NRL clubs in handling concussion and under medical advice have opted to rest the 28-year-old from the first half of the season.
On Tuesday Abdo said Cordner had already been independently examined and a process was underway to grant the club their exemption.
“We’ve received an independent report and we’re very pleased with the approach the club’s taken around Boyd’s recovery and welfare and approach to rehabilitation,” Abdo said.
“That process was already underway.
“In applying the salary cap there’s always due diligence with the extent of the injuries and that’s the job of the salary-cap auditor.”
Should the application be granted, the Roosters would be allowed to recruit a replacement player to fill a similar position.
The representative policy has been used in the past by Canterbury for Kieran Foran’s shoulder injury and Canberra for an ACL injury to Josh Hodgson, but this is the first time it will be considered for concussion.
Cordner’s concussion suffered in Origin I in Adelaide was his fourth of the NRL season and prompted concerns for his playing future.
It also shone a light on the game’s concussion protocols after he was cleared to return to the playing field.
That decision was made by NSWRL medical staff which prompted a warning by the NRL for “failing to follow the game’s policy for managing potential head injuries”.
Abdo has flagged changes to the NRL concussion protocols with the season set to start next month.
“Ultimately we’re going to engage with experts and assemble a panel of experts with the right skills and knowledge in this area and think about how a policy might evolve and develop over time if it needs to, to make sure we’re always acting in the best interests of players,” he said.
“I don’t know what the answers will be, but I’m going to be relying on a panel of experts, as will the commission, on making sure that our policy is setting the standard in world sport that is a challenge for any contact sport.”