A suspicious Laurie Daley is not losing any sleep over Cooper Cronk’s injury scare.
But Cronk sure is.
NSW coach Daley has dismissed talk that Cronk is nursing an ankle injury, saying it is “typical Queensland” trying to play mind games to earn underdog status.
However, Queensland backrower Sam Thaiday says the injury scare is real ahead of Wednesday night’s State of Origin opener in Sydney.
So much so that he is concerned that the halfback’s round-the-clock icing of his ankle is starting to take its toll at their Gold Coast camp.
Thaiday said Cronk had been burning the midnight oil since rolling his ankle on Friday afternoon.
“His biggest drama at the moment is lack of sleep because he has been up most nights icing it to get the swelling out,” Thaiday said.
“(But) he’s a pretty positive person. He will do anything and everything he can to play.”
Lock Corey Parker said Cronk was still limping around the resort when he finally came out of his room to eat.
He believed Cronk would be given until match eve to prove his fitness.
Parker said Cronk would only play if he was 100 per cent, saying the halfback was too professional to roll the dice with their fitness and risk letting teammates down in an Origin clash.
“I haven’t really seen him, he’s stuck in his room the whole time,” Parker said.
“It was just one of those training accidents that happen sometimes but he’s the ultimate professional.
“I don’t know about more miracles but he will give himself every opportunity he can to take the field.
“He won’t take the field if he feels there is any doubt.”
Parker reckoned if anyone could overcome the injury, it was Cronk.
The halfback is already well known for his remarkable powers of recovery.
He came back early from a broken arm to help Queensland win 2014’s game three 32-8.
And he did it again last year, launching a surprise comeback from knee surgery to inspire the Maroons’ record 52-6 game three win that clinched their ninth series in 10 years.
Cronk missed game two of the past two series due to injury – Queensland lost both matches.
North Queensland’s Michael Morgan has slotted into pivot alongside Cowboys halves partner Johnathan Thurston at Queensland training in Cronk’s absence.
Cronk is expected to fly out with Queensland to Sydney on Monday.