Thurston a chance for next week - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Thurston a chance for next week

Adrian Warren 05/08/2011 11:53:35 PM Comments (0)

North Queensland coach Neil Henry expects to know by the middle of next week whether injured superstar Johnathan Thurston will make NRL return in next week's all-Queensland blockbuster against Brisbane.

Thurston has missed the past five games with a knee injury he suffered in the State of Origin finale.

The Cowboys have a 3-2 record in the mercurial halfback's absence, but could drop below the Broncos after losing 14-6 to the Bulldogs in Sydney on Friday.

The two teams entered the round level on 30 points, with North Queensland clinging onto third thanks to a superior points differential.

A home win over the Warriors on Saturday will lift Brisbane above their intra-state rival.

Thurston was at ANZ Stadium on Friday doing television commentary.

While both Henry and himself would like Thurston to play against the Broncos, the Cowboys coach wasn't about to risk rushing his key playmaker back a week ahead of schedule.

"He's running at near top pace, but it's not right yet and he hasn't done any skill work or any contact work since he's been injured," Henry told reporters.

"The prognosis always said around six weeks. If he comes back next week he'll be early, but he does recover fairly quickly.

"The motivation for him would be to be right for the Broncos game.

"It's a big game for us but we're not going to risk him at the back end of the season, if we really have to wait an extra week.

"With a seven-day turnaround, we'll know by Tuesday or Wednesday whether or not he's right to go."

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