Tapine fitness verdict expected on Tuesday

Canberra are still waiting on confirmation about the extent of Joe Tapine's hand injury.
Canberra are still waiting on confirmation about the extent of Joe Tapine's hand injury.

Canberra are still awaiting an update on Joe Tapine's fitness after the Raiders forward visited a specialist on Monday.

Canberra winger Nick Cotric told reporters ahead of Friday's NRL clash with Newcastle that he had heard Tapine may have suffered bone bruising to his hand and would be sidelined for a couple of weeks.

But Raiders officials said they would know the full extent of his injury on Tuesday after Tapine suffered a suspected broken thumb in last round's 22-10 loss to Melbourne.

Canberra are keeping their fingers crossed Tapine will be back sooner rather than later after the back-rower's horror run with hand injuries.

The 24-year-old broke his thumb and finger in separate incidents last year.

The Raiders will also be hoping Tapine has the recovery powers of fellow New Zealand international Jordan Rapana, who made a remarkable return from shoulder surgery last round.

The Canberra winger surprised even himself when he was given the green light to come back two months ahead of schedule against the Storm.

"It has pulled up really well. The shoulder got through alright," Rapana said.

"I didn't expect it to be this early. I was very surprised. Coming back eight to 10 weeks earlier is a huge boost."

Rapana's shoulder will be put to the test again on Friday against the Knights when he lines up against former teammate, livewire Edrick Lee.

"After playing alongside him I know what he can do and he is on a hot streak at the moment," Rapana said of Lee.

"Newcastle are on fire as well. We will have to bring our A game."

Australian Associated Press