Morgan backs himself for NRL return

North Queensland’s Michael Morgan has backed himself to return from a knee injury in Thursday night’s NRL clash with Canterbury despite admitting he is still in pain.

The Cowboys playmaker has been sidelined since suffering the injury in Queensland’s game two series-clinching win over NSW in Brisbane on June 23.

Morgan conceded he still endured some discomfort after his second training session back from injury but gave himself the thumbs up for the top-four NRL clash with the Bulldogs in Townsville.

“I don’t think it will be 100 per cent for a while,” he said.

“But I wouldn’t play if I wasn’t confident.

“It is that type of injury that might hang around a little while but it’s something that I can’t do more damage to.

“There will be a bit of pain here and there but nothing ridiculous.”

North Queensland (3rd; 11-6 record) remained in touch with the NRL leaders by going through the Origin period with a 3-3 tally plus a round 15 bye.

The Cowboys now have their sights set on their NRL title defence, hoping to build momentum towards the finals with all hands back on deck.

All five of North Queensland’s Origin players – Johnathan Thurston, Matt Scott, Justin O’Neill, Gavin Cooper (Queensland) and James Tamou (NSW) have been cleared for the Dogs clash.

“I feel great, I have always enjoyed backing up,” Cowboys co-captain Scott said.

“It’s good to see everyone got through Origin unscathed.

“Everyone is excited to have all the troops back – it’s good to get back to normality.”

Scott said the Cowboys would assess their hopes of going back-to-back in 2016 in the next fortnight.

Besides the No.4 ranked Bulldogs, North Queensland also host current ladder leaders Melbourne next round.

“We are playing teams who will be playing a desperate type of footy – that adds intensity,” said Scott.

“Everyone is excited for the run in.”

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