De Belin confident he can shake off ankle injury again
Injured Dragons forward Jack de Belin has rated himself more than a 50 per cent chance of playing in next Saturday's semi final showdown against South Sydney.
De Belin, who came into the match under an injury cloud with an ankle problem, failed to finish the match after aggravating it in the second half of Sunday's win against the Brisbane Broncos.
The Dragons will be sweating on his fitness given they've already lost skipper Gareth Widdop to a dislocated shoulder, while prop James Graham is expected to be given the green light to return from a concussion.
De Belin was in a moonboot and walking with the assistance of crutches as the Dragons made their way back to Sydney on Sunday night, but hasn't given up hope of getting himself right for the clash against the Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium.
"I'd rate it above 50 [per cent] for sure," De Belin said after the game.
"I feel it was a lot better than what it was this time last week. It's just one of those things. If it was early in the year I'd definitely be off for a couple of weeks.
"But when it's finals it's do-or-die and you want to do everything you can to get it right. If I'm not training all week and just on ice I'm good with that."
De Belin didn't train all week in a bid to get himself right for the match against the Broncos. He received treatment throughout the match to ensure he could continue through the pain.
"Even just from last week when I did it I didn't know the extent of how bad it was, but it was pretty painful," he said.
"I knew last week when it went cold I was pretty much done. All week we knew the plan was to keep it in the boot, ice the s--- out of it and don't do anything all week before the game and go for as long as I can.
"I wanted to play a full 80 and we were riding high. I felt fine to be honest. I was feeling really good, but it go to a point where I tweaked it again. To be honest I probably could have hobbled along again and got it warm again, but there was no point at that stage. Just get off and get it right for next week."
De Belin was originally diagnosed with a grade-two syndesmosis injury, one that usually keeps players out for up to six weeks, but returned in just eight days.
"The physios were very positive," he said. "I had an original scan and I had heaps of screws and plates in my ankle which distorted the scans. They only thought it was a grade one and I had to get follow-ups and it was worse than expected, a grade two.
"That's when I was like, 'oh s---'. As soon as I did it I heard a massive snap. I didn't know which way it wasn't going to go, but the physios were pretty positive."