Gold Coast half Ash Taylor is playing with a metal plate and seven screws in his hand as he fights to extend his career at the Titans.
Taylor is off contract this season and desperate to earn a new deal under coach Justin Holbrook believing the Gold Coast are on the verge of a successful era with the star power now surrounding the club’s highly paid five-eighth.
He faces a sizeable pay cut to remain at the club but the 26-year-old is prepared to dig in to convince club officials he is worth keeping as he forms a potent combination with David Fifita.
Taylor broke his hand in the round-two victory over Brisbane but missed only two games following surgery in a stunning recovery from an injury that is still swollen with a scar running the length of his hand that is still healing.
"I just got a plate and seven screws. They do that to try and fasten the recovery," Taylor said.
"I was just sick of not playing and watching the boys play. It was a case of how do you feel and can you handle the contact it would be all right … If I could grip the ball and make a fist and if I could cop a hit.
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"It felt awesome to be back out there with the lads and in the deep end with the brothers."
While the Titans have targeted Brisbane’s Kotoni Staggs as a potential playmaker for next season, Taylor is refusing to consider the next month as a crucial period in his own negotiations with the club.
"I don’t really think about that. I just do whatever it takes for the team to win games, even if that means me running around out there being a decoy all night," he said.
"Our focus is now and the season. We want to be a top-eight team, you can’t focus on deals and that for now. That’s why I’ve got a manager, I will leave it up to the manager.
"It’s got a little bit to do with Justin but not a whole lot, it’s just up to the club. I’m sweet where I am and I’m happy playing footy for now and when that ship comes around it will come around."
Taylor had some positive moments in the 42-16 victory over Newcastle and is keen to keep building on his partnership with Fifita as the Titans head to Mudgee to play Manly on Saturday afternoon.
Fifita scored some freakish tries and was unstoppable at times against the Knights but Taylor knows he can't just leave it to the second-rower to do it all but rather learn how to bring the best out in him.
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"Yeah, sometimes you just call it and give him the ball but you can’t just give him the ball and expect him to do everything every time," Taylor said.
"I think that’s what we can’t rely on in the big games, just give the ball to Dave and try to make him come up with something.
"Sometimes it might work but other times it might not."
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