Wests Tigers are unlikely to rush captain Robbie Farah back from an elbow injury in time for Friday's game against the Roosters. Credit: Grant Trouville. Copyright: NRL Photos.
Wests Tigers are unlikely to take a gamble on Robbie Farah in Friday night's high-stakes NRL clash against the Sydney Roosters, despite the skipper pushing hard for a miracle return.
Farah is desperate to make an early comeback from a dislocated elbow to help relieve the Tigers' personnel crisis against the defending premiers.
But Tigers officials are likely to advise their star hooker to rest for another week.
The initial prognosis for Farah was at least six weeks on the sidelines, which would have had him in doubt for the first State of Origin clash on May 28.
Farah's speedy recovery has surprised club officials, but it's thought rushing him back after just three weeks out would be a bridge too far.
If Farah doesn't take to the park at Allianz Stadium, it presents the Tigers with a huge mountain to climb as they try to hold on to their top-four position against the fifth-placed Roosters.
The Tigers are also missing key attacking weapon James Tedesco, five-eighth Braith Anasta, back-rower Curtis Sironen and prop Sausaso Sue through injury, and have Liam Fulton (back) in doubt. They have also lost Tim Simona and Mitchell Moses to suspension.
It doesn't bode well for the Tigers, whose understrength side struggled for cohesion against Gold Coast two weeks ago at Leichhardt.
NSW front-row candidate Aaron Woods will be charged with taking the fight to the Roosters' feared forward pack, and Tigers coach Mick Potter says his team won't back down despite the adversity they face.
"We probably could do with a couple more weeks off to get a few back," he said.
"Aaron's played the whole year and I don't expect anything less from him the way his form's been. I think he'll maintain that and I hope he gets selected for NSW ... he's doing everything right."
The Roosters are set to lose French recruit Remi Casty from their bench to a hamstring injury, and reports suggest Dylan Napa will take his place in the 17.
Ruling him out would be a bitter blow for Casty, who played the World Club Challenge but repeated leg injuries since then have robbed him of making his NRL debut.
The Roosters have named James Maloney and Michael Jennings to make premature returns from injury, and the duo will look to sew up their State of Origin jerseys for NSW.