New Zealand Warriors forward Simon Mannering in no rush to return from injury

Injured Warriors forward Simon Mannering is in no rush to return to the field as he nurses a shoulder injury.

The 31-year-old tweaked his shoulder during a pre-season clash against the Gold Coast Titans last month and has since been slowly working his way back to full fitness.

But after watching the Warriors' historic 32-20 win over the South Sydney Rabbitohs in Perth, the 280-game veteran says he's happy to bide his time to ensure he is 100 percent fit.

"The initial prognosis was around that six-week mark, so hopefully not too much longer, a couple more weeks," Mannering said. "But it's a week-to-week basis.

"I've just got to progress it each week and push it to the point where I'm back close to full fitness.

"Hopefully it's not too much longer, but the guys are going really well, so there's a bit less pressure on me trying to rush back, which is nice."

Nineteen-year-old Isaiah Papali'replaced Mannering in the win over South Sydney, playing 80 minutes, running for more than 100 metres and scoring a try in the process. Mannering has heaped praise on the second-year forward.

"I thought he [Papali'i] was awesome, probably one of the best on the field.

"I'm really happy for him. He's a young kid and only played a handful of games last year, but you see the way he plays and forget he's only 19.

"He's always willing to learn and not afraid of some hard work, which is good, and it shows by the way he performs."

The Warriors face the Titans on Saturday in their first home match of the season.

All pre-purchased tickets for the match are just $15, with $5 from each ticket being donated to the New Zealand Red Cross Disaster Fund, as Cyclone Gita has left parts of Tonga in ruins.

Over 15,000 tickets have been sold for the round two encounter and Mannering hopes a big crowd will turn up, so the Warriors can try to repay the loyal fans with another strong performance.

"There's a lot of things to work on, which is good, and the challenge for us now is backing it up after a big trip home and backing up our performances, which we haven't been very good at.

"We've got to show, with our first game here at Mt Smart, what it means to us.

"It's nice [to get a big crowd], but it won't mean anything if we don't perform in front of our fans coming out to support us."


Join us for live updates of the Warriors vs Gold Coast Titans from 5pm on Saturday


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