Cowboys face Tamou, Morgan mystery
Injured Cowboys stars James Tamou and Michael Morgan are both in better shape than originally feared, but are still no closer to knowing when they will be right to play in the Cowboys quest for a maiden premiership.
The influential duo were both injured in the Cowboys 50-16 win over the Warriors in New Zealand on Saturday.
Tamou re-aggravated a neck complaint that saw him out of action for almost the entire off-season and have a well documented slow start to the season as he gradually gained his confidence, while Morgan suffered a high ankle sprain.
The prognosis for both men remains a mystery due to the nature of Tamou's nerve injury, while Morgan, who is a notorious quick-healer, will be racing the clock to be back for the pointy end of finals.
The good news for North Queensland is that the injuries are not as bad as first feared, the frustrating thing is that the length of the duo's recovery will remain a week to week mystery.
"Jimmy's scans have come back clear; he's got to have more scans, which he's having tomorrow," Coach Paul Green said.
"He's recovered reasonably well, so it will just be a matter of - similar to last year - just waiting until all the symptoms are gone and he gets full strength back in both his arms and everything is back to normal.
"He's pulled up well and is pretty upbeat about it. In terms of when he's back playing, it will just be a case of monitoring it from week to week and once he's fully functional in terms of his strength and feeling, he will be right to play again. How long that will take, we don't really know because it's a nerve problem. There was no further damage done or anything like that. He's pretty positive and the medical staff are pretty upbeat about it as well. We will just monitor it and see how that goes."
Morgan finds himself in a similar situation to his teammate and there is no doubt his coach wants the pivotal playmaker back as soon as possible as the finals loom large.
"It's a high ankle sprain. It doesn’t require surgery which is one positive, but they can take quite a while, so he will just be monitored and go through the normal recovery protocol and we will see how we goes," Green said.
"He's a key player in our team so we want him back when he's fit and ready to be able to do that. How long it takes, we are just not sure.
"That complicates things a little bit further too, given that he's had surgery on that ankle this year already. Although it's got nothing to do with the new injury, it's just something else to consider in terms of his rehab and return to play.
"Morgo is pretty positive. Obviously he's disappointed, no one likes being injured. It's one of the toughest parts of our game when guys go through that. All in all he's pretty upbeat about it."