Thurston cleared of serious injury - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Thurston cleared of serious injury

12/04/2010 06:59:37 PM Comments (0)

Australia halfback Johnathan Thurston may have to tackle the brutal Kiwis in next month's Test in Melbourne without an NRL game after scans on Monday cleared the Cowboys star of a serious shoulder injury.

While the Wests Tigers sweated on updates from Dr Donald Kuah on scans on halfback Tim Moltzen (knee), whose season looks over, and forward Todd Payten (calf), the Cowboys were thrilled with Thurston's prognosis of a shoulder muscle tear.

The world's best player is now back on track to play the Test and State of Origin series with scans revealing no damage to the shoulder reconstruction he had prior to the 2009 season.

A diagnosis of two to three weeks however means Thurston may not have a lead up game before the Test against the Kiwis who'd be certain to give his shoulder some attention in the Melbourne showdown on May 7.

"The shoulder is intact, there's no structural damage," said a relieved Thurston after consulting his specialist in Townsville on Monday.

"I've torn a muscle in my back that goes to the shoulder, so I'm pretty happy, that's good news," added the Cowboys skipper who feared he may miss several months.

"I'm hoping it's only a couple of weeks on the sideline and hopefully be right for the Test and Origin as well."

Cowboys football manager Dean Lance confirmed the integrity of the shoulder that underwent two operations before 2009.

"He'll be in full-time physio with Billy Johnstone and, once he's moving without pain, he'll go back to training with the main squad," said Lance.

The club, which is close to welcoming back fullback Matt Bowen following his second major knee reconstruction, had no news on hooker Aaron Payne's ankle injury.

While Thurston was happy, things look bleak for team mate Luke O'Donnell, facing three weeks on the sidelines following his moment of madness in the Cowboys' 23-16 loss to the Wests Tigers.

O'Donnell was charged on Monday by the NRL judiciary with a grade two dangerous contact offence following his ugly tackle on Tigers fullback Beau Ryan whose neck was twisted.

If O'Donnell contests the charge and loses, he will be suspended for four games.

Meanwhile angry Gold Coast captain Scott Prince says his reputation has been left damaged by salary cap allegations dismissed by the NRL on Monday.

"I was always confident that there was no case to answer, the NRL findings prove that," said Prince.

"I am now left counting the cost of what this has done to the club's and my good reputation."

The Titans were accused of cheating the salary cap by asking builder Alex Simpson to construct a house for Prince free of charge in order to keep the playmaker on the Gold Coast.

NRL salary cap auditor Ian Schubert investigated the claims and found there was no evidence that Prince expected the $400,000 house to be built free of charge.

"Despite the conviction with which the salary cap allegations have been made, there appears to be no binding agreement between Scott Prince and Simcorp (Simpson's company) to construct a house," NRL chief executive David Gallop said in a statement.

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