Luke Bailey getting to grips with injury - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Luke Bailey getting to grips with injury

By Laine Clark 08/09/2010 09:34:24 PM Comments (0)

The official test on Gold Coast Titans prop Luke Bailey's re-built left hand may not be until Thursday.

But Bailey is more than confident of being passed fit after emerging unscathed from a run-in with one of his most formidable opponents - his son Hudson.

Bailey is one of the NRL's toughest nuts - a trait on display yet again last week when he asked to play within 48 hours of hand surgery.

However, the hulking 109kg frontrower appears to have met his match with three-year-old son Hudson.

Bailey was hoping to recover at home as he prepared for Friday night's NRL finals clash with the New Zealand Warriors at Skilled Park - and no wonder.

He had screws attached to his shattered left thumb and a metal plate inserted into the hand to steady the recovering digit.

But that gameplan was quickly scrapped.

"My young fella likes to jump on it (hand) a bit, but the (protective) guard is keeping it nice and solid," Bailey laughed.

"He is looking after me, keeping me tough at home, and challenging me a bit - but it's all good."

However, Bailey will still join a long queue for a fitness test on Thursday.

The Titans' injury list reads like a who's who of the club - Bailey, Scott Prince (shoulder), Preston Campbell (hamstring), Mat Rogers (hip), Ash Harrison (broken nose), Brad Meyers (ribs) and Steve Michaels (shoulder).

Livewire fullback Campbell is considered the biggest concern.

But Bailey reckons the Titans can rub his name off the casualty list.

"It's been more than a week since the operation, and it's feeling alright - I am a good chance," he said.

"I thought I was going to play last Friday (against Wests Tigers) but we had to chuck in a few more screws than first thought.

"It is just a matter of getting through the pain but it should be alright.

"I don't need to pass, just catch the ball and tackle.

"I am looking forward to the hit out on Thursday and getting some confidence because you need to be confident against those big New Zealand fellas."

Despite the injury concerns, the Titans ($1.57) are favoured to topple the Warriors ($2.40) at home after sealing a top four finish.

Yet the Gold Coast feel they still have plenty to prove after bowing out of the 2009 finals in straight sets despite starting that campaign at home.

But Bailey said: "It's a different feel to last year.

"Last year we were probably a bit content just to make the finals (for the first time).

"This year everyone is feeling fresh and there is a lot of positive talk.

"There's a good feeling and a lot of excitment in the air - hopefully we can do something with it."

Titans coach John Cartwright added: "We are in a different frame of mind (than last year) in that we won our last game against a quality side (Wests Tigers).

"(And) we are a year older and wiser and have different personnel on the paddock.

"It is hard to compare years. But now we have (finals) experience. You can't buy that."

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