Eels face nervous wait on scans
Parramatta coach Brad Arthur faces a nervous wait this week to find the final prognosis on a number of his players after the Eels limped away from the Auckland Nines with the heaviest injury toll of the weekend.
Hooker Kaysa Pritchard could be out for some time after tearing his pectoral in the club's first group game against Manly, while Kenny Edwards (knee) and Brad Takairangi (knee) both had their tournaments ended by minor ailments.
However of most interest to Arthur will be the health of halfback Chris Sandow, who was arguably the player of the tournament before he limped off the field with an ankle injury in their semi-final loss to South Sydney.
Arthur allayed concern about the off-contract playmaker, but said the entire squad would undergo scans upon their return to Sydney.
"Yeah he's alright. It's just a bump," Arthur said on Sunday. "We got a couple [of injuries] but I don't think any of them are too major except for Kaysa, but we just have to wait and see when we get back.
"Everyone that's got a bump or bruise will get scans at some stage, but it's nothing. [Sandow will] be right."
Had Arthur's side continued their resurgence in the tournament and upset the rampant Rabbitohs, the second-year coach would've been left with just 14 available players out of the chosen squad of 18.
"We were a bit busted and maybe had a couple of them there that maybe we shouldn't have. But what do you do? I have no idea. You can't bring 25 players. It's just what it is."
Arthur was unsure whether a bigger Nines roster would've prevented any of the injuries.
"Yeah it would [help], but then you get to the back end and you might have a heap of fresh players up against some blokes who have played quite a few games. That'd add to the list. But really, I'd be only guessing to what the best solution is," he said.
Overall, the popular Eels coach was pleased with a weekend where his side fell one game short of the final.
"We said [that] as long as we come here and we're professional with our approach to the weekend, we have a bit of fun and we improve on what we did last year... we've done all three of those," he said.