Bailey out for another two weeks: Titans - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bailey out for another two weeks: Titans

By Laine Clark 23/06/2009 07:41:00 PM Comments (0)

Comeback plans have been put on hold for Gold Coast forwards Luke Bailey and Mark Minichiello in a major blow to the Titans' quest to end their NRL finals hoodoo.

Bailey and Minichiello had been expected to return from injury against the Warriors at Skilled Park on Saturday.

But Bailey has been ruled out for at least another two weeks after follow up scans on his broken arm.

And the jury is out on when Minichiello will return as he continues to battle an ankle ligament complaint suffered last month.

As a result, Titans coach John Cartwright has thrown Newcastle offcut Matt White and injury-plagued forward Michael Henderson into the front row for the weekend clash.

Bailey had remained hopeful of playing for the first time since breaking his arm three weeks ago against the Dragons despite missing training this week.

He was given the bad news, however, after a specialist reassessed the small crack in his arm.

"He needs another X-ray in a couple of weeks to see how the break is then," Cartwright said.

Minichiello has not been sighted since suffering the ankle injury against Manly five weeks ago.

But Cartwright has backed White and Henderson to follow up their success from the last round win over the Sydney Roosters against the physical Warriors pack.

"Bails has missed a few games recently and we have covered up well - it gives the other guys more responsibility," he said.

"They have troubled us over the last couple of years, sides with big physical packs - and they (Warriors) are desperate.

"We haven't produced an 80 minute performance with the ball in hand but the players know it is there.

"But defence has been a real improvement this season."

It is traditionally this time of the season that the Titans begin their freefall down the NRL ladder to miss the finals altogether.

Henderson admitted Bailey's prolonged absence was a blow.

But he said the Titans were determined to finally turn their fortunes around after setting themselves up at third with a 9-4 record at the halfway mark of the season.

"Definitely he is a blow. He is someone you can't replace - us forwards have our work cut out for us," Henderson said.

"But you have to step up to be a force. You have to go well without the big name boys."

But Titans assistant Steve Murphy said it wasn't just the Gold Coast who had plans to turn their season around.

The Warriors famously came from nowhere to within one win of the grand final in 2008.

"From memory it was this time last year when they started their charge and won nine of their last 10 games," he said.

"If they are going to try and do anything in the competition we expect them to start this weekend."

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