Michael Morgan will be given until Thursday to prove his fitness as the North Queensland Cowboys five-eighth races the clock to be ready to play against the Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.
Morgan missed the 300th NRL game of halves partner Johnathan Thurston last week and is battling an abdominal strain.
Cowboys coach Paul Green said Morgan's chances of playing against the Broncos were "probably less than I thought after last week" but Brisbane five-eighth Anthony Milford told reporters on Tuesday he was expecting to line up against Morgan.
"I have no doubts Morgs will play," Milford said.
" It must have been really serious because I know he would have wanted to play for Johnno’s [Johnathan Thurston’s] 300th.
“He loves coming up here to Suncorp and playing against us so no doubt he will be ready. I know he’ll be starting."
Green said Morgan hadn't been ruled out, but was less confident than Milford.
Morgan has been named on the extended bench with Te Maire Martin listed to play five-eighth.
Match: Broncos v Cowboys
Round 2 -
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
"He's still a chance but it's more than likely that he won't be playing. I want to give him until Thursday," Green said of Morgan.
"It's more about being able to train pain-free and then also pulling up well the next day.
"It's one of those injuries that you just don't know how they're going to recover, you might feel alright when you do a bit but then pull up pretty sore the next day. The risk with those is if you push them too hard too early, they drag on for quite a while."
Morgan trained with the Cowboys on Tuesday but Green said he was uncomfortable.
"He did most of the session, he didn't do all of the session, but again different things made it sore," Green said.
"It's one of those things where you don't know exactly what's going to stir it up until you try and do it."