NSW coach Laurie Daley is breathing a sigh of relief with Josh Dugan being cleared of an elbow injury and passed fit for the State of Origin series opener.
Scans have cleared the Dragons’ No.1 of structural damage after he had hyperextended his left elbow when Paul Carter landed on him in the second half of Thursday night’s 34-22 loss to South Sydney.
“There is presently lots of fluid in the joint causing pain and limited range as well as a minor strain to the medial flexor tendon,” Dragons head of performance Tony Ayoub said on Friday.
“Fortunately, there is no structural damage and his elbow should settle down within the next week.”
The fullback stayed down momentarily before playing on and finishing the match.
Daley is set to name his team on Monday for the June 1 series opener, with Dugan, Penrith star Matt Moylan and North Queensland custodian Lachlan Coote vying for the Blues’ No.1 jumper.
The NSW coach would have also been heartened by halfback hopeful Adam Reynolds’ performance after he posted an eye-catching final audition at ANZ Stadium.
In a game-turning performance, the Rabbitohs’ No.7 set up three tries off his boot, and also kicked five goals from seven attempts.
Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire said Reynolds’ performances, which included a clutch conversion from the sideline last week against Parramatta, had been building since his return in round seven from a jaw injury.
“He’s been great over the last few weeks, obviously came off the back of the jaw and he’s starting to build his game now,” he said.
“You can see the boys get a lot of confidence when he’s up over the ad line and kicking like he is. He builds a lot of pressure on the opposition when he kicks the way he does.”
Rabbitohs captain and Queensland star Greg Inglis said his teammate had peaked at the right time.