Roosters hooker Jake Friend.

Roosters co-captain Jake Friend will push to return against Melbourne after surgeons had to leave the wound in his arm open to avoid further infection.

Friend returned to training with his teammates over the past fortnight and still needs to prove his fitness early in the week to play his first game in two months.

Having already ruptured his biceps muscle earlier in the year, Friend broke his right forearm around the screw that fixed the original injury.

NRL.com understands the infection in that break meant Friend's injury could not be stitched up as is normally the case with surgery, but was left open to allow the infection to "grow out" in conjunction with a course of antibiotics.

Friend's recovery from his broken arm was pushed back from the start of the finals as a result.

But as the Tricolours veteran pushes to return for the grand final qualifier, former NSW Origin team doctor Nathan Gibbs explained Friend's "uncommon" post-surgery approach won't have any lasting effects beyond his scar taking longer to heal.

"If you've got infection inside, and you close it up with stitches nice and tightly, the infection can't get out," Gibbs told NRL.com from his posting as Wallabies team doctor in Japan.

"It grows down rather than coming out. When you have infection in the wound, often you have to keep the wound open for the infection to come out rather than go into the body.

"That means the wound still heals and scars, but there's a bigger hole so it needs more scar to heal it and in simple terms, it takes longer to heal.

"Infections from surgery are a known complication.

Roosters hooker Jake Friend.
Roosters hooker Jake Friend. ©Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos

"That approach isn't that common but when it comes to infection you do have ways of limiting or preventing it and it's obviously an important aspect."

Roosters teammates were confident Friend will be back on deck as they completed media duties on Monday, from which the No.9 was excused.

Rookie rake Sam Verrills has filled in admirably with Friend only able to play five games in 2019, and remains on standby should the skipper be ruled out of Saturday's blockbuster.

Teammate Zane Tetevano told NRL.com he was aware of Friend's open arm wound – which has been kept covered up to avoid any further contamination or infection – but has no stomach to actually lay eyes on the gory injury.

"I remember seeing it but that stuff does my head in, I'm really off anything like infection, I'll never look if I can help it," Tetevano said.

"It was gross that's all I'll say but I think it's good now.

"I know he was frustrated about a month ago with that infection but he's been training well.

"He's training and he's keen as beans. I think he's always antsy and he's on edge. He looks good and I think he's done a bit this morning, a few extras as well to get himself going and try and prove it."

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