Hodgson hopeful of 2018 NRL return

Nov 27, 2017 - 5:44 AM Canberra's Josh Hodgson remains bullish about appearing in a lime green jumper in 2018 while the NRL has knocked back the club's request for salary cap dispensation for their injured hooker.

Hodgson suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in England's World Cup win over Tonga on Saturday and will undergo surgery next week as he faces the prospect of spending 2018 on the sideline.

The star No.9's long-term injury has lurched the club into a hooking crisis with the Raiders desperately seeking salary cap compensation from the NRL.

Hodgson could not put a timeframe on his return and said he would forego a trip home to England over the new year in an attempt to get himself right.

"I'll have surgery next week and it'll be all recovery from then on," Hodgson said.

"It's more important that I stay here and I get my body right and knee right and ready to go.

"I just need to get myself right and I'll look after myself."

Raiders CEO Don Furner has sent England a please-explain after Hodgson suffered the injury in the 15th minute against Tonga in New Zealand on Saturday but played on for another eight minutes.

Furner also asked for salary cap compensation from league headquarters because Hodgson was on international duty when the injury occurred.

However that was quickly knocked on the head by the NRL on Monday.

"There is no provision in the rules for salary cap compensation for injuries sustained outside the premiership," an NRL spokesman said.

His injury puts Ricky Stuart's side in a precarious position with the club understood to be over the salary cap for 2018 and attempting to unload Kurt Baptiste, who shaped as Hodgson's likely replacement.

Hodgson, who last week signed a four-year contract extension which will keep him in the nation's capital until 2022, said he remained hopeful of returning to the paddock next year.

"Fingers crossed next year I'll make some appearances, I'm not sure when that will be," he said.

"It's going to be a week-by-week basis. There's no point putting a real time frame on it.

"But in terms of the next few years, I'm really excited. The knee aside, I think we can push to bring something special to this city."

Source: AAP

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