Robbie Farah has revealed he is being injected with his own incubated blood in a desperate bid to be fit for State of Origin II.
Farah will be named on Tuesday in NSW coach Laurie Daley’s rejigged side for Game II in Melbourne on June 17. But the Wests Tigers skipper faces a battle to recover from a shoulder injury in time for what is a must-win clash for the Blues.
Stand-in NSW captain for last month’s series opener, Farah suffered the injury in a Justin Hodges tackle in Queensland’s 11-10 win.
The return of captain Paul Gallen and winger Brett Morris have boosted the Blues ahead of next weeks’ MCG encounter, but Farah remains a 50/50 proposition.
As a result Farah has resorted to the blood therapy used by the likes of NBA stars Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bogut.
“I have had a couple of injections that worked on my elbow last year when I had a dislocated elbow,” Farah told Channel Nine on Sunday.
“They are called Orthokine, where they take my own blood out and spin it down and put it in an incubator overnight, things like that and then put it back into the injured area so it helps speed up recovery.”
As part of the expensive medical procedure, the patient’s own blood is extracted, manipulated and reintroduced to the body as an anti-inflammatory.
However, Farah isn’t confident the procedure will guarantee he can take his place in the Blues side at hooker.
Michael Ennis is set to come into the NSW squad as back-up for Farah, with Daley wanting his first choice No.9 to be able to participate in a ball work session by Wednesday and a contact session on the weekend.
“I will be pushing for that,” Farah said.
“That is fine. I totally agree with that. I don’t want to have a poor preparation and I don’t want to affect the team preparation going into such a big game.”
Captain Gallen, who enjoyed a successful comeback from eight weeks out with a hip/glute injury in Cronulla’s win over Sydney Roosters on Sunday, will return to the NSW side in the back row, likely pushing Josh Jackson to the bench and Andrew Fifita out of the side.
Morris played his first game since Good Friday in Canterbury’s win over St George Illawarra on Monday after overcoming a hamstring complaint. He will likely take the spot of out-of-sorts Roosters flyer Daniel Tupou on the wing.
Morris pulled up well after the Dogs’ win and declared himself a certain starter for Game II.
“I kept in touch with (NSW coach Laurie Daley) throughout the week and he wanted to go know everything was progressing,” Morris said.
“I sent him a text yesterday and let him know that I was going to be playing. He just sent one back saying `hopefully you pull up alright’.
“I’ve done it before, come off an operation, played one game and went into Origin and handled it pretty well.
“Origin is Origin. You get pretty pumped up for it. You forget that you’re tired because you don’t have time to be tired.”
Pearce has been cleared to play despite being cited by the NRL match review committee.
The Roosters No.7 will be free to take his place in the side with an early guilty plea to a dangerous contact charge on Cronulla’s Michael Gordon.
LIKELY NSW SIDE: Josh Dugan, Brett Morris, Michael Jennings, Josh Morris, William Hopoate, Mitchell Pearce, Trent Hodkinson, Aaron Woods, Robbie Farah, James Tamou, Beau Scott, Ryan Hoffman, Paul Gallen (c). Interchange: Josh Jackson, Trent Merrin, Boyd Cordner, David Klemmer.