Gidley to cop pre-Origin rib-tickler - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Gidley to cop pre-Origin rib-tickler

By Steve Jancetic 14/07/2009 07:26:26 PM Comments (0)

A ten-minute torture test on his fragile ribs just before kick-off will determine NSW skipper Kurt Gidley's availability for Wednesday night's Origin series finale.

Restricted from any contact work through the Blues' Origin III preparation, Gidley's cracked rib cartilage will be administered with a painkilling injection before being given a going over by teammates ahead of the dead-rubber clash with Queensland at Suncorp Stadium.

Withstand the barrage, and Gidley will play, but shadow player Luke Patten will also warm up in case the pain is too much for the Newcastle fullback to bear.

"We're very confident," coach Craig Bellamy said.

"Kurt's busting to play ... he wants to play and he's our captain and he's a very important player for us.

"We all know how tough he is and it's not as if he's got a problem and we're just going to needle him up to play ... he's had the scans and there's no jagged edges there.

"It's just a rib cartilage where it's cracked and it's popping in and out so they'll needle it, strap it up - the medical staff aren't going to put him out there if he's going to do more damage.

"We'll give him right up until the warm-up."

Asked when he'd know if he'd be right, Gidley said: "Probably about a minute after I get a bit of help from the doc."

The biggest obstacle for Gidley appears to be his inexperience with the injury. He has sought advice from others who've played with rib cartilage injuries - including teammate Brett White and Blues assistant coach Andrew Johns - but is unsure exactly how much pain the injury will cause.

He had sought to test the effect of the painkillers before the game, but was warned against it by medical staff.

"We were thinking about doing it yesterday or today, but while that would give it a good test, you would probably do more damage and you'd wake up a lot worse tomorrow and it would be more sore than what it was," he revealed.

"I tried to train (last) Wednesday and it was pretty fragile, I saw the physio and the doc and they said I was just better off letting it rest and try and let it heal as much as I could throughout the week.

"I think that's helped me because this time last week after the (Newcastle) game in Melbourne it was pretty sore just coughing."

Gidley and Patten shared time at fullback during the Blues final training run at Suncorp Stadium on Tuesday, Bellamy confident NSW would still be in good shape should the worst-case scenario eventuate and Gidley be ruled out.

"(Patten) had a session with us on Friday and Saturday ... he's been in great form but he also plays club footy with our halfback and hooker," Bellamy said.

"If Kurt happens to drop out, Luke's done enough training to fit in there real smoothly."

With Queensland minus key three members from their pack plus giant winger Israel Folau, Gidley admitted the final game of the series presented NSW's best opportunity to secure a win.

But he said the Maroons' injury crisis would not be enough to guarantee victory.

"I wouldn't like to think we'd win this game just because they've got a couple of injuries, I'd like to think we're going to win for our attitude in defence," he said.

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