Decision on Thurston looms
The North Queensland Cowboys will wait until Friday to determine if co-captain Johnathan Thurston is able to play after sustaining a calf injury in Round 6.
Coach Paul Green said medical staff will assess the condition of Thurston's calf on Friday morning in an effort to avoid a reoccurrence of the injury, after fullback Lachlan Coote re-injured his calf after making a quick return from injury earlier this season.
"[Thurston] got through most of the session so we'll see how Johnno… pulls up tomorrow and make a decision then," Green said.
"Given what we've been through with Cootie we don't want to make the same mistake twice. Sometimes those types of injuries can feel OK once you get through the session and then pull up either really sore or swell up overnight."
Green dismissed the idea of leaving the decision up to Thurston so early in the season, with the risk of re-injury too great to consider rushing the Australian representative back.
"It's always up to the medical staff. Unless it was a final or a big game or something like that then we'd consider taking a risk but they're always calculated risks and at this stage of the season there's no need to risk him being out for longer than he already has," Green said.
Green said Thurston's availability for next week's Test between Australia and New Zealand will be reassessed if he is unfit for this week's NRL match.
"I'm sure [Australian coach Mal Meninga] does want him to play, everyone want him to play, but that will be a decision we talk about if he doesn't play on the weekend," Green said.