No prizes for guessing what Queensland fullback Billy Slater’s birthday wish will be on Thursday.
However, it appears Slater is bracing himself for disappointment.
On the day he turns 32, Slater will consult his NRL club Melbourne’s specialist about his troublesome shoulder in a visit that may end his season.
Slater showed no sign of discomfort despite being heavily targeted in Queensland’s 26-18 State of Origin II loss to NSW in Melbourne on Wednesday night.
However, Slater could not rule out speculation that he may need to go under the knife on Thursday.
“I will see the Melbourne medical staff (on Thursday) and will make a decision from there,” Slater said.
“Everyone knows it is not in a great spot.
“I have a shoulder issue and there are a few different things involved in it.
“I will do what is best for myself, the club and moving forward.”
Slater’s unavailability would be a huge blow for Queensland in the wake of NSW’s series-levelling victory in front of a record Origin crowd at the MCG on Wednesday night.
And it may also have repercussions for Slater’s NRL career.
Now aged 32, Slater is off contract with the Storm this year and it seems facing an uncertain future due to his lingering shoulder complaint.
Origin II was the first match Slater had played since Queensland’s series-opening win in Sydney last month.
“I will have a chat with the medical staff, we have already sourced some other opinions and we will decide what we will do from there,” Slater said.
Queensland coach Mal Meninga admitted he did not know whether he had seen the last of Slater this year.
“No idea, really,” he said.
“I think it’s all about how he pulls up.
“He will be assessed (on Thursday) I imagine by the Melbourne club and I guess we will know later on in the week.”
NSW captain Paul Gallen took exception to Slater’s pre-game admission that he would reassess his year after game two due to the shoulder complaint.
The Blues leader took that as a sign of Queensland “disrespect”, claiming it indicated Slater assumed the Maroons would seal the series with a game two win in Melbourne.
As a result Slater was hammered by the Blues defence in game two.
At one stage Slater took exception to NSW’s rough treatment in the 22nd minute, almost sparking a melee.
Asked if NSW crossed the line, Slater said: “I won’t buy into that.
“Everyone saw what happened tonight.”