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Luke's fate lays with scans

15/08/2010 04:15:22 PM Comments (0)

Knee scans on Monday will determine whether fiery Cowboys forward Luke O'Donnell has played his last game in a colourful 12-year NRL career.

O'Donnell faces an anxious wait after limping off Skilled Park on Saturday night with a suspected grade two medial ligament strain which is expected to rule him out for the rest of the season.

With the struggling Cowboys, who have tasted the least number of wins (five) of any club in 2010, well out of finals contention, the NSW back-rower is set to play out his career with English club Huddersfield.

North Queensland are holding on to faint hopes of receiving some welcome good news late Monday but O'Donnell, 29, cut a dejected figure after their 37-18 loss to the Gold Coast.

The former Test lock sustained the injury in a match-turning play in the 62nd minute when bulldozing Titans prop Luke Bailey bashed over from close range to stop the visitors momentum after they stormed back from a 19-0 halftime deficit to 19-18.

When Mark Minichiello crossed three minutes later Gold Coast had sealed their fourth straight win and second place on the competition ladder.

Fearing it was his last game in a controversial 168-game career, which started with Balmain in 1999, Cowboys coach Neil Henry said O'Donnell would be long remembered for his passion, toughness and outstanding work-rate.

"There's not too many men who have the work-rate (he produces) in the midfield and he's a throwback to a bygone era," Henry said.

"I think that's why (NSW coach) Craig Bellamy liked him so much for Origin.

"He was built for that arena. He would be the first to admit he's had a short fuse at some times and would regret some actions on the field but it's not through a lack of effort and doing his best for his team and playing with passion."

That passion got O'Donnell in trouble again on Saturday night when he hit stand-out Coast fullback Preston Campbell high in a tackle and then lashed out when hooker Nathan Friend took exception.

Both O'Donnell and Friend were sin-binned after a heated scuffle.

The send-offs raised the ire of Titans coach John Cartwright who took aim at the use of the sin-bin being the "biggest inconsistency" in the game after the Coast paid a bigger price for losing their influential hooker.

"Probably neither of them deserved to go," he said. "I just wish they would get rid of it."

Cowboys interchange forward Dane Hogan also faces time on the sidelines after being put on report for a scary lifting tackle which flipped Kevin Gordon on the back of his head.

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