The return of centre Chris Lawrence from a dislocated hip injury will be more of a mental battle when he lines up for Wests Tigers against Parramatta Eels on Friday night.
Lawrence makes a much awaited welcome return to the side since suffering the injury in round 3 against Canberra at Campbelltown Stadium. Tigers Head Coach Tim Sheens said he would also use prop Todd Payten in limited spells as he makes a welcome return from a knee injury following a successful stem cell operation.
Wests Tigers have struggled on the left edge in attack without Lawrence but Head Coach Tim Sheens has warned supporters not to expect fireworks in his first game back.
“I’m not putting pressure on Chris. He has had more than a three month layoff so you are not going to ask him to score four tries. I just want him to do his job out there,” Sheens said.
“He will bring some strength to the side and speed to the left edge. We can’t expect the world from him.
“Physically, yet alone, psychologically, he is going have to work hard. He has done everything at training and has been extremely good.
“We have held him back. He could have played two weeks ago but we were not prepared to do so. We used the bye to help bring him up.
“I am very happy with where he is at. He is too. He will still need to get through the first few tackles and make the first couple of runs before he is confident.”
Captain Robbie Farah said Lawrence’s return from injury has had a positive impact on the team.
“Chris has been a massive loss for us. He has worked really hard on getting back from his injury,’’ Farah said.
“He is 100 per cent ready to go. I know he is excited and we are excited to have him back.”
Below is the Round 18 Casualty Ward*.
*Please note: The injury list is subject to change, and players may return to the football field earlier or later than originally published.
Ben Teo – Fractured Arm: Out indefinitely
Shane Tronc – Neck: Out indefinitely
Dane Carlaw – Knee: Due back Round 20
Josh Dugan – Ankle: Due back Round 19
Matt Orford – Groin: Out indefinitely
Terry Campese – Groin: Due back Round 22
Tom Learoyd-Lahrs – Bicep: Out for the season
Danny Galea – Finger: Out indefinitely
David Shillington – Pectoral: Due back Round 19
Michael Ennis – Chest : Out indefinitely
John Williams – Ankle: Due back Round 19
Albert Kelly – Leg: Due back Round 19
Scott Porter – Knee: Due back Round 21
Gold Coast Titans:
Kevin Gordon – Knee: Out for the season
Brad Meyers – Wrist: Forced into retirement
Nathan Friend – Shoulder: Out indefinitely
Ryan James – Knee: Out for the season
Preston Campbell – Wrist: Out indefinitely
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles:
William Hopoate – Hamstring: Out indefinitely
Tony Williams – Hamstring: Out indefinitely
Chase Stanley – Knee: Out for the season
Luke Kelly – Osteitis Pubis: Out indefinitely
Sione Kite – Shoulder: Due back Round 20
Troy Thompson – Ankle: Due back Round 20
Todd Lowrie – Calf: Due back Round 19
Zeb Taia – Neck: Due back Round 22
Ben Rogers – Shoulder: Out indefinitely
Neville Costigan – Knee: Out indefinitely
North Queensland Cowboys:
Michael Bani – Ankle: Out indefinitely
Willie Tonga – Shoulder: Out indefinitely
Brent Tate – Knee: Out indefinitely
Shannon Gallant – Groin: Out indefinitely
Antonio Winterstein – Pectoral: Out for the season
Scott Bolton – Calf: Out indefinitely
Johnathan Thurston – Knee: Out indefinitely
Joel Reddy – Pectoral: Out indefinitely
Justin Poore – Knee: Out indefinitely
Jacob Loko – Knee: Out indefinitely
Timana Tahu – Pectoral: Out for the season
Michael Gordon – Knee: Out for the season
Sandor Earl – Shoulder: Out for the season
Masada Iosefa – Hand: Round 22
South Sydney Rabbitohs:
Scott Geddes – ACL: Out for the season
Luke Stuart – Knee: Out for the season
Sam Burgess – Ankle: Out for the season
Roy Asotasi – Shoulder: Due back Round 25
Kane Morgan – Knee: Out for the season
Fetuli Talanoa – Pneumonia: Out indefinitely
St George-Illawarra Dragons:
Bronx Goodwin – Knee: Due back Round 20
Matt Cooper – Cheekbone: Due back Round 19
Cameron King – Pectoral: Due back Round 20
Nick Emmett – Foot: Due back Round 19
Mitchell Aubusson – Shoulder: Out for the season
Daniel Conn – Neck: Forced into retirement
Martin Kennedy – Foot: Out for the season
Lama Tasi – Ankle: Due back Round 19
Anthony Cherrington – Knee: Out for the season
Steve Naughton – Collarbone: Due back Round 19
Jerome Ropati – Knee: Out for the season
Glen Fisiiahi – Groin: Due back Round 19
Michael Luck – Knee: Due back Round 22
Brett Seymour – Cheekbone: Due back Round 20
Lote Tuqiri – Ankle: Due back Round 20
Todd Payten – Ankle / Knee: Out indefinitely
Geoff Daniela – Chest: Out indefinitely
Matt Utai – Arm: Due back Round 19
Benji Marshall – Knee: Due back Round 19
Simon Dwyer – Neck/Shoulder: Out indefinitely