Thurston confident ahead of NRL comeback - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Thurston confident ahead of NRL comeback

Laine Clark 10/08/2011 05:05:24 PM Comments (0)

It's a huge match but Johnathan Thurston insists he hasn't rushed his comeback to face Brisbane and their record-breaking skipper Darren Lockyer on Friday night.

"I have got the all clear from the specialist and the medical staff," said North Queensland playmaker Thurston on Wednesday.

"I have full confidence that the knee will be fine.

"If an injury happens it will be through bad luck."

With his team's hold on a top four spot under threat and the chance to play in good friend Lockyer's NRL match record-breaking 350th appearance, Thurston could have been excused for rushing his return from injury for the Dairy Farmers Stadium clash.

But he's adamant he wouldn't do that.

"It didn't matter if we were playing the Broncos or some other team, if I had any doubt in my mind, I would have given it another week," Thurston said.

Still, Thurston did not hide his admiration for his Test and Queensland skipper Lockyer - or his desire to spoil the record celebration.

"It's a huge honour to be a part of it, against one of the greats. He (Lockyer) certainly will be an Immortal," he said.

"He has had a lot of records. Hopefully this one won't be as memorable for him.

"I am a great mate of his...(but) I would definitely like to rain on his parade."

The last time Thurston played, he was trying to seal a sixth straight Origin series with Lockyer for Queensland on July 6.

He ended up in a wheelchair as the victorious Lockyer was carried off Suncorp Stadium.

"He still has a great bearing on the game," Thurston said of Lockyer.

"We will just try to limit what he does - that's all you can do with the best players of the game."

Thurston played down his likely impact in his comeback match.

"To think big things wouldn't be good," he said.

"I need to do my job in the team...as best I can. If we all do that, you can't ask for more."

While Thurston admitted the "mental" side of his recovery had been challenging, surviving a contact session on Monday gave him the confidence to run out on Friday night, albeit in a knee brace.

And in the end, Thurston said the break from the game had done him good.

It did the Cowboys (13-7 record) wonders too, going a long way to ditching their "one-man team" tag with a 3-2 win-loss run without their playmaker to move within sight of a top-four finish.

"I would rather be playing but it has certainly freshened me up," Thurston said.

"And we have had some really good wins while I have been off the paddock. Certainly, that will give them confidence."

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