Roosters coach Trent Robinson says he will stay away from making medical predictions when it comes to his front rower Dylan Napa.
Napa hurt his left knee in the 70th minute of the tight 9-8 loss to Melbourne Storm at Adelaide Oval on Friday night.
He grabbed at the leg and stayed sitting on the turf until the Roosters trainer arrived to make an initial assessment. He then left the field and didn't return with news filtering out that it was suspected medical ligament damage.
Queensland coach Kevin Walters was up in the Fox Sports commentary box and must have felt a sense of deja-vu wafting over him.
In the round 15 game against the Panthers – the club match before the Maroons side was picked for Origin II – Napa rolled his ankle.
It was touch-and-go throughout the week-long Queensland preparation, with the intense physiotherapy and all-night ice compression machine sessions, which got the 25-year-old over the line.
It was somewhat of a medical miracle since Robinson was on hand to see how swollen Napa's ankle was in the Roosters sheds after the win over Penrith.
So he was hesitant to give a definite prognosis in round 16. The Queensland team for Origin III is to be announced on Sunday.
"Not sure. The tackle hurt his knee a bit. He's walking around OK but it was enough for him to come off," Robinson said.
Match Highlights: Roosters v Storm - Round 16, 2018
"I wouldn't know [about Origin III chances]," he added, anticipating the next question.
"I said he wouldn't play Origin II last time and he did, so I'll stick to my lane and leave that up to someone else."
Apart from Napa, the NSW players in the Roosters side – fullback James Tedesco and centre Latrell Mitchell – all came through unscathed.
But Mitchell will be still admonishing himself for missing a penalty goal right in front of the uprights in the 67th minute that would have given the Roosters a 10-8 lead, possibly allowing them to stave off the Storm finish and win the match.
Mitchell's miss was all the more bizarre as he had converted Matt Ikuvalu's try in the north-east corner of Adelaide Oval from the sideline, in the pouring rain.
Whether he rushed the penalty, who knows. His coach was not overly impressed regardless.
"They are the small moments in game, where you need to take them," Robinson said.
"In a tight game point or two can make a big difference in the end."
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