Soward still dogged by shoulder injury
Eccentric Panthers five-eighth Jamie Soward says he is unsure if his shoulder will be right to go in what he labelled a "must-win game" against the Bulldogs on Saturday.
Missing Penrith's 20-0 loss to the Storm in Round 13 after being hit off the ball by Parramatta wrecking ball Pauli Pauli the week before and hurting his AC joint, Soward said the club's second bye of the season came at a good time for the injury-stricken club.
"We'll leave it up to the coach and medical staff at the moment if I had another week off. It's probably a little bit of a longer injury than what we thought was two weeks so we'll just wait and see later in the week," Soward said.
"It was nice to have a weekend where we didn't have any injuries so everyone enjoyed some time away and came back pretty excited.
"Obviously it was another week where I get to rest the shoulder too so I'll try and test it out this week and see if it'll be right for Saturday."
With injuries running rampant throughout the club for the past two seasons Soward said the Panthers' lack of success in 2015, despite finishing in the top four last year, was a matter of when they occurred.
Lamenting on Penrith's poor starts in their past two games, having been down 12-0 against Melbourne and Parramatta by the 20 minute mark, Soward added it wasn't "good enough".
"It's just a matter of putting ourselves in that position straightaway. It makes it hard for the next 60 minutes, trying to play from behind all the time. It'd be nice to be able to go out there and lead for a change," Soward said.
"I think our injuries too have come at a different time. Last year we had a chance to really get some combinations and some form on the board [before they occurred] which was important and good for the confidence.
"But this year it's gone pretty much from the start of the season. At the moment, we're just making sure we enjoyed our bye which we did. Now we've got to get back to work."
"The Bulldogs on Saturday night are definitely at the front of the minds. For us, we've just got to take it – the old cliché – a week at a time and see where we end up. When I first arrived [our performances have] always been results-driven. But we get what we deserve."