His coach thinks he’s “vitally important” to their NRL finals chances so it’s no surprise North Queensland won’t be rushing to make a call over injured co-captain Matt Scott.
The representative prop is battling a broken finger which forced him to miss last weekend’s 32-16 win over Gold Coast in Townsville.
While Scott is expected to be right to return for the Cowboys in Saturday’s blockbuster qualifying final against minor premiers Melbourne, coach Paul Green said the 31-year-old still has to prove his fitness.
“It’s just a matter of dealing with the pain and there’s just a bit of swelling there as well,” Green said.
“Having the week off helped everything.
“We need to have our best players out there and Matt’s one of those. He’s vitally important at this time of year. He’s got that big match experience and you need that in these games.”
The Cowboys are also monitoring superstar halfback Johnathan Thurston after he corked his thigh late in the win over the Titans.
Green says Thurston will have to have his workload adjusted later in the week but he’s confident the playmaker will be right to take on the Storm.
Saturday’s match is a rematch of last year’s preliminary final in Melbourne where the Cowboys claimed a 32-12 win on their way to a maiden premiership for the club.
Green says that game means nothing heading into Saturday however, especially with the Storm having done the double over the Cowboys this year.
“They’ve improved quite a bit actually,” Green said.
“They’ve certainly been more consistent. They’re the best defensive team in the competition. They’ve gotten back to finding their groove and really keeping teams under pressure.
“That’s something we’re going to have to cope with.”