NRL: Shaun Johnson cleared of serious injury after ankle concern, available for NZ Warriors season opener

NZ Warriors fans can breathe a sigh of relief, with halfback Shaun Johnson cleared of any serious injury following an ankle concern last week.  

Johnson, 33, was spotted wearing a moonboot during the Warriors' pre-season training, after suffering an ankle sprain.  

While a severe ankle sprain could have sidelined the veteran from anywhere between six and eight weeks, medical assessment has shown Johnson's injury to be moderate.  

The club has confirmed Johnson is cleared to take part in the Warriors' season-opening clash, when they host Cronulla Sharks at Go Media Stadium Mt Smart on March 8.

However, it is unknown if Johnson will play any role in the Warriors' pre-season trials, against Wests Tigers on February 18 and the Dolphins on February 24.   

Losing Johnson would have been a huge blow for the Warriors, given his status as the NRL's leading halfback.  

In 2023, he produced a career-best tally of 29 try assists and scored eight of his own, finishing one point shy of being crowned the Dally M medallist for the NRL's best player.  

Johnson's form was pivotal in the Warriors securing a first top-four finish since 2007, before their season was ended by Brisbane Broncos in the NRL preliminary final.