Injured NSW hooker Robbie Farah will have surgery on his broken hand on Tuesday in a bid to play in next week’s State of Origin decider in Brisbane.
As the rest of the squad fly to Coffs Harbour on Tuesday afternoon, Farah will remain in Sydney to have a plate or pin inserted alongside the fourth metacarpal of his right hand.
Melbourne’s Ryan Hinchcliffe and Canterbury’s Josh Reynolds have been drafted into camp, while former Blues rake Michael Ennis will be another option whether or not he beats a careless high-tackle charge at the NRL judiciary on Wednesday.
However Farah said he remained confident of being able to take the field at Suncorp Stadium next Wednesday night, although expressed concern over being fit enough to prepare with the rest of the team.
“It’s not just about playing on Wednesday night. I’m confident I can get out there and play with or without the surgery,” Farah said.
“It’s about the preparation of the team. This gives me a chance to train.
“Without it, I would’ve had to needle up for training as is. That wouldn’t have been the best scenario.
“I am concerned about not just about myself, but the preparation for this team for such a big game.”
Farah, 31, said surgery was the preferred option because the plate or pin would give him the strength he would need to play with the fracture.
“I saw the specialist (on Monday) and he was confident that with surgery it’ll be a lot stronger and the recovery would be pretty quick because it’s stabilised by a plate or pin or whatever he decides to put in there,” he said.
“The one thing I will have to manage is the pain obviously after surgery. But the strength in it is more important than the pain. The pain can be localised.”
Blues coach Laurie Daley revealed he had called Ennis on Monday to discuss bringing him into the team, but the Cronulla veteran will remain in Sydney for his visit to the judiciary.
Daley said he was aware of the loophole that will allow Ennis to play in the decider even if he loses the judiciary challenge, given he would be forced to miss the Sharks’ clash with Manly this Sunday.
Asked whether he thought taking advantage of the loophole was fair, Daley said: “For me, it’s just speculation at the moment.
“I will obviously support Robbie in trying to play. That’s where the focus is at the moment, and we’ll go with that.”
Newcastle pair Sione Mata’utia and Tariq Sims will also join the team in camp.