Canberra Raiders winger Jordan Rapana will miss just two weeks of NRL action after fracturing his cheekbone, according to reports.
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The Raiders feared Rapana would miss up to two months, but ABC News reports that scans revealed no bone depression.
Rapana was accused of milking a penalty against South Sydney, a claim denied by coach Ricky Stuart.
“I was on the sideline and I saw the whack,” Stuart is quoted as saying by AAP.
“It was 20 metres from me and it was a big collision. So it’s all nice to be sitting in the coach’s box or sitting in the stands, saying ‘Get up. There’s nothing wrong with you.’
“The amount of criticism that was aimed at Jordan is unfair.
“He’s shown that he’s a very tough guy. He played with a very bad injury to his forehead last season at the end of the year.
“And again on the weekend he’s had a bad whack to the head which was an accident. The guy that went into the tackle obviously didn’t mean to.
“But he also got another whack later on in the game and finished the game off with a busted eardrum.”
Rapana was fuming after he was accused of making the most of being tackled by Rabbitohs forward Chris Grevsmuhl on the first half of the match.
“Maybe they could put some boots on and see how they like it when they cop a shoulder to the head,” Rapana told The Canberra Times.
“It bugged me a little bit, but they’re not in my shoes and they don’t know how it felt.
“It genuinely rocked me and hurt me so I stayed down. I wasn’t trying to milk a penalty.
”My whole face went tingly and numb, it was pretty sore to be honest. I got checked out on the spot. I was alright, it didn’t knock me out, it just rattled me, no concussion or anything.
“Even now it’s numb, I can’t feel my teeth, it feels like I’ve been to the dentist.
”I’d like to think I’m a tough player, it gets under my skin a little bit when you hear people questioning my toughness. I know within myself I’ll play on whenever I can. I definitely did not take a dive.”
Rapana returned to the field for the second half wearing protective head gear but suffered a burst ear-drum in a separate incident.
The Raiders star, who attempted to play with a life-threatening broken skull last year, admitted some NRL players take drives in an attempt to con referees.
However the 25-year-old says he isn’t one of them.
“I think there are players that do take a dive, just because a finger or hand touches the chin they go down,” he said.
“I do think it’s a bit of a problem, there are a lot of players that do that, but at the same time you’ve got to be better with your tackles and technique so you don’t make any contact with the head.”
Rapana is now expected to return for the Raiders’ round 11 clash against the Canterbury Bulldogs at GIO Stadium.