Kelly facing reserve grade return
Daniel Mortimer's place in the Titans halves could be under one pressure after just one game with assistant coach Neil Henry saying that they "would be mad" not to pick Albert Kelly as soon as he is fit to return.
Although it was a somewhat muted start, Mortimer made a good fist of his first showing as a Titan in Sunday's 19-18 loss to the Dragons but Kelly may be a given a chance to push for reinstatement with a run in the Intrust Super Cup this weekend.
Titans coaching staff have not yet determined whether he will be assigned to either of their two feeder teams, Tweed Heads or Burleigh, but given the knee injury to Beau Henry recently it is likely he would turn out for Tweed Heads who play Redcliffe on Sunday.
Mortimer came in after just two training sessions to partner Maurice Blair in the halves against the Dragons, the fifth game in succession where the Titans have been unable to field the same pairing in consecutive weeks, but with the bye this weekend Gold Coast have two weeks to kick-start their push for a finals berth.
Blair's left-foot kicking game, calmness under pressure and attuned football instincts have been a welcome addition in the play-making positions over the past four games but Henry said that if Kelly can prove his fitness, he'll line up against the Rabbitohs for the Monday night game in Round 17.
"We'll see how Albert goes. If he's right to train this week I'd imagine that he might go and have a game in Queensland Cup, I think he'd be keen to do that to test his leg out anyway," Henry said.
"Hopefully that's the case and he plays strongly and puts his hand up for a position in the team. At the moment we've had to rotate people around but if he's ready to go we'd be mad not to use him."
More and more as the game wore on on Sunday Mortimer asserted his influence on the Titans' structure, finishing the game with 55 touches and 10 kicks in general play compared to Blair's 36 touches and three kicks.
He made the mid-season move from the Roosters to lock down a permanent spot as an NRL halfback but he may find himself as one of three players locked in a battle for two spots.
"I thought Daniel Mortimer first game in, threw a nice pass for 'Mini' (Mark Minichiello) to go in and score and was fairly solid given he only had two sessions with the team," Henry said.
"We have been through six different halves combinations in six weeks with Albert Kelly coming in and then being re-injured, Aidan Sezer being out as well so it's been a difficult time to consolidate some direction in the team so hopefully we can get that with Daniel.
"We put ourselves on the sideline a bit and pushed a couple of passes that didn't find the mark and missed a couple of opportunities. As soon as we straightened up our attack, Mini went through, and we started to get some good metres again."
Although he had recovered sufficiently from the heavy head knock prior to half-time following the game, Titans forward Ben Ridge was going for scans on Monday afternoon on his shoulder that was injured in the same collision with Will Matthews.
Ashley Harrison also remains under an injury cloud, unwilling to return to the team until he has full confidence in the neck injury he sustained against the Rabbitohs in Round 9.