Matt Scott is set to play on in 2019. Picture: Zak Simmonds
Matt Scott is set to play on in 2019. Picture: Zak Simmonds

Neck surgery won’t bring early end to Scott’s career

COWBOYS enforcer Matt Scott has revealed he will undergo a second bout of neck surgery but is adamant the operation will not force him into premature retirement this season.

Scott's desire to play alongside retiring champion Johnathan Thurston will see him bravely soldier on for the next five weeks before going under the knife after the Cowboys' final regular-season game against the Titans on September 1.

Scott will have a procedure to shave bone in his neck to relieve nerve pressure. It is the same operation the Cowboys prop had in 2015 after spearheading North Queensland's charge to their maiden premiership.

 

Sidelined for the past six weeks, Scott made a triumphant return in the Cowboys' 20-18 defeat of Newcastle on Friday night, but says he is booked in for fresh surgery on his neck.

Scott is off-contract at the end of 2019 and there were fears his chronic neck injury could end his career this season, but the former Maroons warhorse confirmed he will honour his Cowboys deal.

"I can definitely play on (next year)," Scott said.

Scott is set to undergo neck surgery in the off season. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Scott is set to undergo neck surgery in the off season. Picture: Alix Sweeney

"I will have surgery at the end of the year. It's pretty much the same operation that I had in 2015 and I had great results from that, so I'm expecting that again this time.

"It's definitely not career-threatening or career-ending.

"It will be the same type of surgery but in a different spot (in his neck region) … I'm expecting it to go well and play again next year."

Scott, who celebrates his 33rd birthday tomorrow, is no stranger to pain-relieving injections in his neck, but admits his latest treatment was not as effective.

Underlining his commitment to the Cowboys, Scott is prepared to deal with some pain if it means playing one more month with his good mate and co-captain Thurston.

"That's added to the motivation," Scott said.

Scott wants to play out the 2018 season with Johnathan Thurston. Picture: Stewart McLean
Scott wants to play out the 2018 season with Johnathan Thurston. Picture: Stewart McLean

"I was disappointed I've missed some games and at one stage I was worried I wouldn't play another game with him (Thurston).

"It was definitely motivation to get back. That's my job, I am here to play footy and to play rugby league for the Cowboys.

"I've had an epidural and a cortisone (injection), it didn't work as well as they normally would. I still get a bit of pain but it's got to a stage where I can train and manage it and get out and still do my job.

"It (his neck injury) is something that I have battled throughout my whole career. I am pretty aware of how it's going and how I have to deal with it.

"It is worse than it has been normally, but I was confident that I could manage it. It's a relief to be back on the field."



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