Cooper Cronk has been one of the most durable players in the NRL from the time he nailed a starting spot at the beginning of the 2006 season – which would make his absence on Sunday even more unfathomable.
The Roosters halfback is in doubt for the 2018 Telstra Premiership grand final with severe rotator cuff damage that caused him obvious discomfort in his team's gutsy 12-4 win over South Sydney last Saturday.
If he misses out, it would deny the Roosters one of their most important players – an experienced marquee man brought in for exactly this scenario – and the game one of the week's biggest storylines, with Cronk shaping up against the club where he played 323 NRL games, became a household name and a Test and Origin star.
Cronk has never missed a playoff match after making a stunning 32 finals appearances in his time at Melbourne which included a whopping seven grand finals, with four wins (though only two premierships still stand in the record books due to the Storm's salary cap penalties).
His incredible career record since making the purple No.7 jersey his own over the 2005-2006 off-season reads 13 seasons, 315 games and just 18 games missed, according to NRL.com Stats. Five of those missed games came in one run when he broke his arm in Origin I, 2014.
Outside of that, only twice has he missed successive games; in 2011 he sat out rounds 24 and 25 with an ankle injury and he missed rounds one and two in 2010 due to off-season groin surgery.
That figure of 18 games does not include matches the Storm played while Cronk was unavailable due to Origin duty, nor the game in 2014 he would have missed anyway due to Origin II had he not been injured. It does include a couple of games where he did not back up post Origin, but even that is rare for Cronk.
The 2004 and 2005 seasons have not been included in the analysis as Cronk was a bench player and not an automatic selection, missing 14 games in a season and a half through non-selection.
Since then the fewest club games he has played in a season is 19 (in 2014), averaging just over club 24 games per year. In that time he has also racked up 38 Tests and 22 Origins.
Clearly Cronk has been one of the most durable players in the competition, if not the most durable, over the past 13 years and while he currently looks long odds to play on Sunday it would be risky to count him out just yet.
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