Paasi joins Titans casualty ward
Titans coach Neil Henry could be forced into rushing Chris Grevsmuhl back into the NRL this weekend against the Warriors with lock forward Agnatius Paasi expected to miss at least a month of football with a fractured shoulder blade.
Paasi picked up the injury to the same shoulder which went under a complete reconstruction in the off-season midway through the first half against the Cowboys last Saturday night and could be sidelined for as long as six weeks.
The Titans' forward stocks could suffer another significant blow on Tuesday night when co-captain Ryan James fronts the judiciary to plead not guilty to a charge of a shoulder charge. If he is found guilty James will miss two weeks but can escape suspension altogether if the Titans can mount a successful defence.
Paasi's injury doesn't require surgery but has forced Henry to name Grevsmuhl in his squad of 21 to face the Warriors despite the fact that the former Panther and Rabbitoh spent the off-season training part-time with Group 10 club Orange CYMS.
Physically Grevsmuhl looks a long way from what is required to churn out big minutes in the NRL but Henry said he had to be named due to the lack of options in the forwards if James was to be suspended.
"Unfortunately we've lost [Paasi] but Chris Grevsmuhl has started to do a bit of training so he comes into the frame as well," Henry said.
"He's included in the squad but we'll see how it goes. We're obviously waiting on Ryan James tonight but we'll have to wait and see.
"He's done a little bit of training but we are short of forwards.
"He's an edge back-rower who can play in the middle as well."
Asked what work the conditioning staff had put into Grevsmuhl in order to bring him up to speed, Henry was circumspect with his response.
"He's going to need to improve a bit."
One player who has made significant improvement after suffering a dislocated shoulder in Round 2 against the Knights is winger Anthony Don.
Karl Lawton missed only a week after suffering the same injury in the same game with Don on standby this week in case Konrad Hurrell is unable to face his former team due to an ankle injury.
"Once it's stable there's not much further damage you can do," Henry said of the injuries to Lawton and Don.
"Karl's responded really quickly but he hasn't had shoulder surgery before whereas Anthony has.
"He's there in case something was to happen. Konrad Hurrell has got a bit of an ankle problem so he's a bit of a back-up there but he'd still have to undergo a fitness test to make the team."