Foot complaint the Origin of James' pain

SYDNEY Roosters' hooker James Aubusson has delayed surgery on his ankle to help his team overcome a personnel shortage during the State of Origin rugby league series.

The former Ballina boy has been playing reduced minutes from the bench since he chipped some bone off his ankle which is sometimes causing the joint to lock.

But in an unselfish act, Aubusson has told coach Brad Fittler that he will put up with the injury until after the club has negotiated the difficult State of Origin player drain.

The Roosters lost Willie Mason, Anthony Tupou, Craig Fitzgibbon and Nate Myles to Origin I and it is expected that selectors will stick with the four again.

Another Roosters player, Mark O'Meley, is a chance to be picked for one of the prop spots vacated by the injured Ben Cross.

"A few little niggly injuries are holding me back," Aubusson said.

"I need an operation on my ankle which will put me out for two to four weeks.

"Basically I have a crack in the foot just from general wear and tear and a bit of bone has chipped away which makes the ankle lock up on me a bit.

"It's a bit painful, but I'm getting through the games and as soon as Origin finishes I'll get the operation.

"I've had a number of talks about the injury with him (Fittler) and he's more than happy to help me get through it with reduced game time.

"But he wants me to get it done as soon as possible, so should we make the finals I'll be able to get back for it."

The injury caps an unhappy injury run for the former Melbourne Storm player.

During the off-season Aubusson underwent two operations on a troublesome groin injury.

Meanwhile, Aubusson escaped suspension after being placed on report during the Roosters' 38-12 over the New Zealand Warriors in Auckland on Sunday.

The interchange hooker was not required to front the judiciary after he was cleared by the match review committee.

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