Gallen hopeful of being fit for Origin III

Paul Gallen says his rib injury is not as bad as first thought and he is hopeful of being fit for State of Origin III.

Gallen on Thursday night had scans on his injured ribs and will be assessed by Cronulla medical staff on Friday.

The NSW and Sharks skipper suffered rib cartilage damage in NSW’s 26-18 win over Queensland in Melbourne on Wednesday night.

It initially appeared the gutsy back-rower’s night was over when he went off at the 20 minute mark and went up the MCG tunnel to receive a painkilling injection.

However he played on in the second half, going on to make 131 metres from 17 runs and 28 tackles.

While he will miss the Sharks’ round 15 NRL clash with Newcastle on Sunday, Gallen said he was hopeful of only missing one or two weeks and being fit for Origin III on July 8.

“I’m not too bad, it’s obviously a little bit sore, it’s 24 hours after the injury but I think all in all it’s not going to be a real bad one,” Gallen said on The Footy Show on Thursday night.

“I’m pretty sure maybe a week or two. I’m going for scans straight after this.

“But where I am now compared to where I was this morning, I’m a lot better.”

Gallen went into the game under an injury cloud having played only once in 10 weeks prior to Origin II because of glute injury.

He said he played through the pain because of a desire to not let his teammates down.

“When it first happened I didn’t think much of it, I thought `that feels a but weird’ and then a couple of minutes later I felt something pop,” he said.

“It’s funny, we spoke to Laurie just before we got on the team bus about our rotation and how we were going to make it work and I knew the minutes I had to get to.

“I was supposed to get to about 30 minutes but I knew the first change was going to be made around the 20 minute mark. And if I had to come off after five minutes I was going to ruin the rotation so I managed to stick out that 15 minutes and after that I came off and I had to get needled.”

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