England prop Lee Mossop has revealed he won’t be fit to make his NRL debut for Parramatta until mid-season as he recovers from shoulder surgery.
Mossop finally joined the Eels on Tuesday for pre-season training after being given an extended break by coach Brad Arthur following the World Cup.
In that time, Mossop was married and underwent surgery on a shoulder complaint that had dogged him since 2011.
Recruited by former coach Ricky Stuart, Mossop has set his sights on a round-10 start for the Eels.
“Hopefully, if I can be fit by round 10, then fingers crossed they’ll (Eels fans) see the best football out of me,” Mossop told the Eels’ website.
“I had a shoulder injury in 2011 which I played with for two years and I could have played with again this year without having the surgery.
“But I spoke with (new coach) Brad (Arthur) and (football manager) Daniel (Anderson), and we all agreed that I wanted to come over here and play at my full potential which I thought was important.
“The big thing for me is I’m hoping to be with Parramatta for the long term.
“I thought it’d be better to have the surgery before I start and get that fixed up and go into the season all guns blazing and hopefully give it my best shot.”
Mossop has spent his first days with the Eels getting acquainted with his new teammates and Arthur, who he admitted he had never heard of when he was appointed as Stuart’s successor.
“I’d been at Wigan wince I was 15, so almost eight years, and it was a perfect time to leave after winning the premiership there,” Mossop said.
“When the approach came from Parramatta, the way the club’s building and going to better places, it was something I was really excited to be a part of and it’ll be a big challenge.”