Cronulla skipper Paul Gallen is no certainty to take on South Sydney on Monday night with the club considering wrapping him in cotton wool ahead of the NRL finals.
The workaholic back-rower missed last week’s surprise loss to St George Illawarra after suffering a calf strain in the warm up and could sit out another week, coach Shane Flanagan revealed.
The 34-year-old took part in Sunday’s captain’s run but Flanagan said he would wait to see how his captain pulled up on Monday.
While Gallen was sorely missed last week and the Sharks are desperate to break their three match winless run, he said they were wary of exacerbating the injury three weeks out from the finals.
“We need to win some games the next couple of weeks but there’s a semi-finals series coming up and we need our captain there for it,” Flanagan said.
Playing on Flanagan’s mind is the similar injury Gallen suffered at the start of the year which forced him to withdraw from the All Stars match.
With the Sharks second and in contention for an elusive title, Flanagan was taking no chances with his captain.
“He’s gone the rehab process with that calf, it’s a tricky one,” Flanagan said.
“He’s had a previous calf injury at the start of the year.
“We wouldn’t want to mess around with it, we’ll need to make sure he’s fully recovered so it’s probably a little bit of precaution.”
Fellow back-rower Luke Lewis is expected to take on the Rabbitohs after being restricted to light duties during the week because of a virus.