It will no doubt be dismissed by NSW as another attempt at State of Origin mind games.
But Queensland halfback Cooper Cronk insists his troublesome ankle won’t be 100 per cent for weeks.
The Blues already think the Maroons are up to their old tricks after Queensland flew Kyle Feldt into camp as cover for winger Dane Gagai (quad) ahead of Wednesday’s Origin II in Brisbane.
Now Cronk has revealed he is yet to reach full fitness, weeks after being accused by NSW of “smoke and mirrors” when he left training at Queensland’s Origin I camp with a rolled ankle.
However, Cronk was deadly serious when he claimed his ankle was still swollen, but could not see it being a problem for Origin II.
“There will be a bit of swelling for the next couple of weeks, but as far as it functioning, it is completely fine,” Cronk said.
“It’s not 100 per cent, but there are no excuses, I have been able to manage it well.
“I wish it was in better condition for game one, but I was able to get through it and there are no ill effects.”
Cronk would have found NSW’s dismissal of his injury amusing if the situation had not been so serious.
He moved in with the Maroons physiotherapist at their Gold Coast camp to recover from a rolled ankle in five days and play a leading hand in Queensland’s 6-4 Origin I win – much to the halfback’s surprise.
“There was no smoke and mirrors. I was gone,” Cronk said of his injury.
“But on Monday (two days before Origin I) the footy gods looked after me.
“We got the swelling out of the joint, I grit the teeth and got it done.
“But I wouldn’t have played if I thought I could not have contributed.”
Maroons teammates were genuinely concerned about Cronk suffering sleep deprivation due to his round-the-clock ankle icing ahead of Origin I, but Cronk tried to play down the lengths he went to before the game.
“It’s not as dramatic as it has been made out,” Cronk said.
“Anyone who gets injured does anything they possibly can.
Still, Cronk is seen as a medical miracle worker after also coming back early for Queensland from a knee injury last year and a broken arm in 2014.
But he didn’t think he had many tips he could pass onto latest injury concern Gagai.
“If he needs advice, I am not sure what to say – maybe stick your leg up and ice it as long as you can,” Cronk laughed.
“But he will be right.”