Cronulla and NSW captain Paul Gallen is no certainty to play this weekend as he continues to recover from a rib injury.
Gallen has been named as 18th man for Saturday’s NRL clash with North Queensland in Townsville and is not guaranteed to play.
He briefly trained with the Sharks on Tuesday morning however did not complete the full session at Remondis Stadium and is yet to take part in contact work.
He will be monitored over the coming days with a call on his fitness to be made later in the week.
Gallen is expected to be fit to lead NSW out for State of Origin III at Suncorp Stadium on July 8.
However he would like to get a game under his belt after missing the Sharks’ win over Newcastle on Sunday.
His only chance to return to club football ahead of game three is this weekend’s match with the Cowboys with coach Laurie Daley to name his team next week before heading into camp at Coffs Harbour.
Gallen popped a rib cartilage in the Blues’ Origin II win over Queensland and on Tuesday told The Big Sports Breakfast radio show the injury was a day-to-day proposition.
His Sharks teammate Ben Barba said he expected the side’s inspirational skipper to play as they aim to break the Cowboys’ 11-game winning streak.
“I think we need every player on the park this week and that includes the big fella,” Barba said.
“Hopefully he’s ready to go come Saturday.”