North Queensland coach Paul Green has refused to rule out injured playmaker Johnathan Thurston from Saturday night’s crunch NRL home clash with Melbourne.
Thurston was expected to be sidelined for two weeks with a hamstring injury but it was news to Green on Tuesday.
“According to everyone else, it is two games (he is sidelined)… but he will be back sooner rather than later,” Green said.
The race for top four spots was supposed to have been blown wide open after Thurston suffered the injury in last round’s 36-0 thumping of Canterbury.
The Test half was expected to not only miss the Storm clash but also the next round’s away showdown with the Wests Tigers.
But asked if Thurston could play against Melbourne, Green said: “We will see how he goes.
“We will monitor him – it’s fairly inconclusive.
“There is something going on there but it’s nothing too concerning at the moment.”
Green backed third-placed North Queensland to test No.2 Melbourne whether Thurston played or not.
He liked how Cowboys half Michael Morgan responded after Thurston limped off against the Bulldogs.
“Morgs in particular grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck,” he said.
“It’s about guys like him, Ray (Thompson) and Rory (Kostjasyn) … stepping up and taking some ownership of the team.”