Sam Thaiday is expected to be a certain inclusion in the Queensland team for Game Two of the 2014 Origin series. Credit: Grant Trouville. Copyright: NRL Photos.
Concerns for Sam Thaiday have overshadowed praise for Justin Hodges ahead of Queensland's quest for an unprecedented ninth straight State of Origin series win.
Maroons chairman of selectors Des Morris all but gave the green light to veteran Broncos centre Hodges for the May 28 opener in Brisbane after an encouraging return from an eight-month recovery from achilles surgery.
But Thaiday will provide more food for thought when Queensland selectors finalise their side to be unveiled on Monday night.
Thaiday has not been named by Brisbane for Friday night's NRL clash with Gold Coast and the jury is out on when the forward will return from a month-long calf complaint after skipping Broncos training on Tuesday.
Brisbane had a day off on Wednesday.
Morris said they would consider medical opinion before assessing Thaiday's Origin I availability.
"Obviously it is a concern if he does not play on Friday," Morris told AAP.
"We only thought he would be a couple of weeks out.
"But if he doesn't play we won't immediately rule him out.
"It will depend on medical reports and when they reckon he will be back."
However, Queensland's forward depth was on show before the trans-Tasman Test when Matt Gillett slotted into the Australian team after his Brisbane teammate Thaiday pulled out.
Then there's the Gold Coast's David Taylor who will be out to end his two-year Origin exile by exerting more pressure on Queensland backrow rivals Ben Te'o, Chris McQueen and Josh Papalii on Friday night.
"We are pretty fortunate at the moment with plenty of backrowers playing well for us," Morris said.
"But the job Sam does for us can't be underestimated, playing in the backrow and then the front row as the game wears on.
"We will have to get our head around what our options are."
But Morris had no concerns for Hodges despite the veteran conceding that his achilles had been sore after each of the five games he had played since returning.
"He has undergone a fairly serious operation, soreness just comes with the territory," Morris said.
"He has come back fairly well and he will get a bit of rest in (Origin) camp.
"At face value I don't think he is a problem at this stage."
Brisbane's form prop Ben Hannant will receive a last gasp chance to impress Origin selectors on Friday after his sensational re-call by Broncos coach Anthony Griffin.
A week after being relegated to the second-tier Queensland Cup, Hannant will come under consideration by Maroons selectors when he comes off the Brisbane bench.
"We don't rule anyone out," Morris said of Hannant.
"But they have got to perform at club level before we would be bringing them in."