Campbell gives week off 'guarantee' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Campbell gives week off 'guarantee'

By Laine Clark 13/09/2010 06:02:02 PM Comments (0)

Preston Campbell believes a week off "guarantees" he will make a welcome return for the Gold Coast Titans in their historic NRL preliminary final clash.

Former Dally M Medal winner Campbell has now missed three weeks due to a hamstring complaint - not that it has derailed the Titans' premiership push.

The Gold Coast will host their very first preliminary final at Suncorp Stadium after downing the New Zealand Warriors 28-16 last Friday night.

While William Zillman was named man of the match for his "Billy Slater-like" fullback performance according to coach John Cartwright, the Titans are sweating on Campbell to regain full fitness.

But the initial news is encouraging after Campbell on Monday declared himself a certain starter for the preliminary final clash against the winner of Saturday night's Roosters-Panthers blockbuster.

"It (week off) pretty much guarantees me for next week," Campbell told reporters on Monday.

"I was probably in a bit of doubt for this week.

"But the fact that we have a week off now guarantees me a start next week."

Campbell's declaration provides some relief for the Titans who are nursing an injury list that reads like a who's who of the club.

Apart from Campbell, Anthony Laffranchi, Greg Bird, Scott Prince, Steve Michaels (all shoulder), Mat Rogers (hip), Ash Harrison (broken nose, shoulder) and Luke Bailey (thumb) are all battling for fitness.

The likes of Prince had to be needled just to run out against the Warriors last round while Bailey famously took on the huge NZ pack after the team doctor refused to deliver a pain killing injection on his recently operated on hand, fearing an infection.

No surprised then that the week off was music to the ears of Titans physio Scott Thornton.

"We have a few walking wounded at the moment," he told Fox Sports on Monday.

"The week off is going to be great for us because it gives us an opportunity to really work hard - and we don't have the problem to back up from a game this weekend."

A consummate professional to the end, Campbell reckons he resisted the urge to jump and down at home as he urged on upset wins by the Roosters and Canberra last weekend which locked in a preliminary final for the Titans.

"I wasn't doing much jumping. Just in case I did my hamstring again - I stayed on the couch mate," Campbell laughed.

"I was doing a bit of screaming though."

Cartwright sounded surprised that the Titans had come so far, so soon.

"It was a surprise that was for sure seeing the results go the way they did, and right down to the wire - it kept us occupied on Saturday night," he smiled.

"But in the wash-up it is a good thing for us.

"It gives the players an extra week to get over the injuries that they have had."

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