Cooper back in training

2010-01-07 09:49
Quade Cooper (File)

Sydney - Wallaby back Quade Cooper has returned to training with the Reds as he awaits a court hearing on burglary charges, club officials said on Thursday.

Cooper, 21, was last month charged with breaking into a house on the Gold Coast, and the Australian Rugby Union said he would not be allowed to play internationally or for the Reds until he undertook a counselling programme.

The action plan formulated by Queensland Rugby, the ARU and the Rugby Union Players' Association is aimed at addressing a number of off-field issues for Cooper, a spokesman said.

Reds' officials said Cooper's progress is being monitored and will be reviewed early next month before any further decisions are made on his immediate playing future.

Cooper underwent minor knee surgery soon after his return from the Wallaby tour of the United Kingdom and Ireland last November and is in the final stages of recovery.

New Reds coach Ewen McKenzie said Cooper had been eased back into training.

"Quade has made good progress on the medical front, so he should be ready to fully participate either this week or next week," McKenzie said.

"As far as his eligibility to play is concerned that decision will be made later, based on his progress in following the programme set down for him."

Cooper said he remained committed to fulfilling his off-field programme with the aim of playing for the Reds in the 2010 Super 14 season.

"It's up to me. It's all about the things I do off the field, and how I control that will decide how quickly I get back on the field," Cooper told reporters on Thursday.

"Playing footy is what I love, so to get back out there as fast as I can and close that window is all up to me."

Cooper is due to face court in July.

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