White makes his return but Croker may miss opener
Raiders forward Brett White after a hard training session at the Raiders forward Brett White is set to play his first match since a knee reconstruction last year. Photo: Colleen Petch
Representative prop Brett White will return to action for the first time in nine months, but Canberra Raiders teammate Jarrod Croker is in doubt for round one with a knee injury.
It was mixed news for the Raiders as they named a 33-man squad for Saturday night's trial with Mounties and Wyong at Cook Park, Mount Pritchard.
The positive is the inclusion of White for his first game since tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee in round five against the North Queensland Cowboys last season.
The 30-year-old former NSW and Kangaroos enforcer is a crucial part of the Raiders' front-row rotation and appears on track to face Penrith in the season opener.
The same can't be said for Croker, the talented centre having undergone minor knee surgery on Tuesday to repair damage sustained in last week's 40-8 win against the Melbourne Storm.
Croker could miss up to the first three games of the season, but the Raiders remain hopeful he will be fit for the start of the premiership campaign.
The Raiders welcome back two more of their stars for their second pre-season hitout, with forward Tom Learoyd-Lahrs and lock Shaun Fensom back on deck after sitting out last week.
Bulldogs recruit Jake Foster will play his first game for his new club after featuring in last week's All Stars game on the Gold Coast. Indigenous All Stars teammates Reece Robinson and Blake Ferguson will also back up from the representative fixture, as will NRL All Stars prop David Shillington. However, Jack Wighton and Joel Thompson will be rested after taking injuries into the match.
The Raiders' second trial of the season will be against two NSW Cup teams. They will play two 30-minute quarters against Wyong and two 30-minute quarters against Mounties.