Myles denied a Titans farewell
Inspirational captain Nate Myles has played his 75th and final game for the Titans with a thumb injury to prevent him from taking his place against the Cowboys in Townsville on Saturday night.
Myles injured his hand a fortnight ago in the team's 28-12 win over the Raiders and joins the long list of Gold Coast players unavailable this week as the club seeks to finish the season with three straight victories.
Coach Neil Henry has named an extended 20-man squad with Ryan James returning in the front row after serving a week's suspension and Eddy Pettybourne included on the bench despite battling an ankle injury.
Beau Falloon (back) and Josh Hoffman (groin) are both expected to be fit to play but the news wasn't so good for Myles.
"It's the last opportunity to say farewell to a few guys but unfortunately Nate's thumb's not going to be right in time," Henry said on Tuesday, who also indicated Greg Bird would not return from a quadriceps injury.
"He's got something a bit more serious there so he needs to immobilise that and try and avoid some surgery.
"He won't be able to take the field but we're playing for a bit of pride and going up there to test ourselves against a very good side.
"He's very disappointed he can't represent the club again. He had a win in his last game for the club which is great but he's been trying really hard to get his thumb right to get back but it's just not responding."
The Panthers' loss on Monday night and their match-up against the Knights this weekend means that the Titans have avoided the wooden spoon and in a sign of the closeness of the competition could finish the year as high as 10th if they can upset the Cowboys.
In a year that began enveloped in controversy, Henry paid credit to his players for ending the season on such a positive note.
"I'm proud of the achievements of this squad so far," he said. "You've seen a fair bit of courage and character over the last couple of weeks to win a couple of games.
"I'm confident that if we'd been able to keep our squad together that we'd be up there in the mix in seventh or eighth but it wasn't to be.
"We've got to look at our injuries and what's preventable because it's been two years in a row now where we've missed a lot of games through injuries."