Rugby League


Chainsaw cut almost takes Picker's knee

DUMPED Canberra Raider Joe Picker has narrowly avoided a potential career-threatening injury after cutting into his knee with a chainsaw on Thursday.

Picker has been described as ''very, very lucky'' after he came within centimetres of severing a tendon in his right knee when cutting wood at his parent's property near Bigga.

It's a massive relief for the back-rower, who is on the lookout for a new club after Canberra told the Crookwell product this month he is no longer required.

The 25-year-old underwent successful surgery in Bowral on Friday and returned home on Saturday night.

Picker's father, Grant, said the outcome was as good as could be hoped, and his son's future in the game isn't in jeopardy.

However, Picker was forced to cancel his buck's party which was to be held at Wyangala Dam on Saturday night.


''The specialist said he couldn't be any luckier,'' said Grant Picker. ''Where the cut went through was just perfect, it just missed the tendon. It's a bit of a bummer. He was supposed to have his buck's party and all the boys were coming, everything got cancelled.''

He said his son remains bitterly disappointed he has been forced to leave the Raiders.

Despite playing 110 games for the club, Picker wasn't afforded an official send-off after the last home game of the year.

At the time the Raiders were still weighing up whether to keep him and other departed players were acknowledged, including younger brother Mick who played four games in 2011. ''It's a bit sad, really, what happened to him at Canberra. I don't think there's ever been a junior that's come through there who's played 100 games and hasn't had a send-off,'' Grant Picker said.

''If you know Joey he doesn't want to play for anyone else bar the Raiders. He just wanted to be there right or wrong, but they've shut the door and there's nothing he can do about it now.

''He was still hoping to be re-signed because he's always loved them since he was a little kid, three or four years old.''

Picker is expected to be back on his feet within two to four weeks, in time for the start of pre-season if he finds a new NRL club.

His manager Steve Gillis is extremely confident he will find a new home. ''It's a pretty serious wound, but from a playing point of view his future is in absolutely no doubt,'' Gillis said.

''Had it been to his calf or his hamstring or Achilles it could have been quite serious, so he's lucky.

''I can't name the club, but I remain confident he'll be playing either in the NRL or overseas next year. He's too good a player not to find somewhere.''