Paul Gallen will be a certain starter for Cronulla’s NRL preliminary final, however there are fresh concerns over Valentine Holmes after the winger missed training on Tuesday.
Gallen proved he has overcome a back injury after completing the entire field session at Woolooware on Tuesday despite earlier stating he would participate in half the practice.
But while all eyes were on the Sharks’ skipper ahead of Friday’s final against North Queensland, young star Holmes was a notable absentee.
A Sharks official said Holmes was at the ground but withheld from training due to a virus, but isn’t considered in doubt for the grand final qualifier.
Gallen missed the Sharks’ qualifying final victory over Canberra a fortnight ago, and has at times struggled to move since pulling up lame from a training session before the match.
And while coach Shane Flanagan cleared him on Sunday to return for the must-win grand final qualifier, Gallen has confirmed he won’t carry any injury concerns into the match.
“If nothing goes wrong between now and the game I will be 100 per cent fit,” he told Sky Sports Radio’s Big Sports Breakfast.
“I feel fresh, I feel good and I will be fine on Friday.”
Gallen returned to training on Sunday, completing around half of the session, and has a rest day on Wednesday before Thursday’s traditional captain’s run.
He held no fears about a recurrence of the injury, which is believed to have originated from a surgery he had on his back a decade ago.
“It’s happened twice in 10 years – it’s a fair way apart. It is a concern that you don’t know when it’s going to happen or why it happens,” he said.
“But I’ve got no concerns this week that come warm-up or come captain’s run that it’s going to go again. I’ll be okay.”