Titans' Bailey gets thumbs down - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Titans' Bailey gets thumbs down

By Laine Clark 02/09/2010 06:01:23 PM Comments (0)

Titans coach John Cartwright has ruled out tough prop Luke Bailey for Friday night's NRL grudge match with the Wests Tigers.

But Titans coach John Cartwright reluctantly gave Bailey the thumbs down after the surgically repaired digit was assessed on Thursday - and the damage was much worse than first thought.

The jury is now out on when Bailey will feature in the NRL finals - if at all.

But Cartwright said Bailey wouldn't be rushed into the side during the finals push, saying he didn't want to be "playing with a guy's career".

The full extent of Bailey's broken thumb was revealed when he went under the knife earlier this week.

A screw was inserted after it emerged Bailey had suffered multiple fractures in the second half of their last round loss to the Sharks - and then incredibly played on with the injury.

Amazingly, the rugged prop still hoped to run out in the Titans' Skilled Park clash with Wests Tigers which will decide their top four hopes, but he was sent home from training on Thursday.

"I am not sure about the recovery, it's a wait and see thing," Cartwright said on Thursday.

"It was a bigger operation than they initially thought, but we will see how he progresses.

"It was multiple factures and needed a bit of work to put it back together." It would usually sideline a mere mortal for four to six weeks, but the injury may not stop Bailey from running out next week in the NRL finals.

"It all depends on how he feels. Different people react differently," Cartwright said.

"I will be guided by the medical staff.

"You are playing with a guy's career, so if the doctor says he will be okay and Bull (Bailey) can handle the pain then he will play next week." Anthony Laffranchi - returning from a shoulder injury - will have no respite as he slots straight into the front row in Bailey's absence.

Utility Greg Bird moves into the backrow while Luke O'Dwyer is the new face on the bench.

Bailey's omission comes on the back of inspirational fullback Preston Campbell (hamstring) also being rubbed out for the Wests Tigers clash.

But Cartwright said: "We have had several games this year where several of our bigger names have been out and others have stepped in and done the job.

"I am more than confident about manoeuvring guys around and coming up with a starting 13." Bailey and Campbell might be absent but the Titans won't be lacking experience.

And one of their veterans Mat Rogers will be honoured at what will be the retiring dual international's final regular season game at Skilled Park.

Commemorative "Rat" t-shirts - named after Rogers' moniker - will be on sale at the ground.

Cartwright did not think it would be a distraction for the team - and certainly not Rogers.

"Matty has had 15 years of first grade so if anyone is going to be equipped to handle that type of situation it will be Matty," he said.

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