Wests Tigers coach Jason Taylor says skipper Robbie Farah isn’t risking further damage to his left shoulder by carrying his AC joint injury into State of Origin II in Melbourne.
The Blues hooker has laid off contact this week as he continues to recover from a brutal tackle by Queensland centre Justin Hodges in the series-opener in Sydney.
But Farah is all but certain to play in the must-win encounter next Wednesday with the aid of a painkilling injection, and Taylor has been assured by the club’s medical staff that it won’t get any worse.
“Unless it got another major contact on it, it’s something that won’t be made any worse by playing,” Taylor said on Thursday.
“It’ll be very sore after the game.
“But over the course of the next few weeks, he’ll be able to play footy with a needle and it’ll slowly but surely get better to the point where he’ll be able to play without it.”
Farah has been forced to miss his club’s past two games after Origin I, but Taylor said they were always confident it would heal in time for the second game in Melbourne.
And while he was concerned about the welfare of his club captain, he insisted the club backed his decision to play through the pain against Queensland.
“It’s a big one for us, but State of Origin’s such a big deal and Robbie’s such a key part to it and it means a lot to him,” he said.
“There’s never been any question for us around whether we’d be concerned about him missing our games and playing Origin.
“He was the NSW captain in the last game. It’s important to him and it’s important to us to support him in the right way.”
Taylor also explained that prop Keith Galloway had suffered the exact same injury earlier this year and only missed a week.
“(Robbie will) have to have a needle and it’s still quite sore,” he said.
“But we’ve had Keith Galloway do a similar thing with us this year. He hurt his quite badly, missed the one game and was back the following week.
“Our physio’s very confident that he’s going to be okay to play with the needle. But the needle’s key. There’s no way he’ll be able to play without it.”