Penrith could receive a huge boost ahead of Friday’s all-important NRL match against the Wests Tigers, with forward Chris Grevsmuhl a chance of returning from an elbow injury.
Grevsmuhl missed Sunday’s win over Newcastle after hurting his elbow against the Sydney Roosters the previous week, but trained on Wednesday afternoon with the team.
His possible return would inject more starch to a Panthers side who need to win to consolidate their spot in the top eight with just two more regular-season games to follow.
Prop Reagan Campbell-Gillard wasn’t so confident of Grevsmuhl making it back in time, having only just returned from a similar injury after missing four games.
“I’m not too sure on that one. This is the first training session back since Sunday. But whatever (coach Anthony Griffin) does, I’m pretty sure the boys will do a job,” he said.
Campbell-Gillard who, before the elbow injury, hadn’t missed a NRL game since making his debut last year in round one, admitted he was still unable to straighten his arm.
“It’s fully healed but obviously trying to get it fully straightened by the physio work, doing everything right that I can do. It should be good,” he said.
“I’ve got it strapped. I feel a bit comfortable there being supported by some strapping tape. Again, I’ve just got to keep doing my rehab and getting physio treatment.”
For the Tigers, who sit two points behind seventh-placed Penrith in tenth spot, another loss would all but end any hope of squeezing into the finals.
Panthers veteran Peter Wallace labelled Friday night’s game a must-win.
“It’s a very important game, just on the basis of where we both are on the ladder. It’s our biggest game of the season to date,” he said.
“I wouldn’t say they’re finals, but the intensity’s getting a bit higher each week. You expect it to go up another level this week.”
Wallace said the team were still smarting from the 34-26 loss in round 17 to the Tigers.
“We were disappointed in our effort that night. Just the execution in attack was really off and, defensively, we were off too,” he said.
“Obviously, it’s do-or-die for them and we’re in a bit of the same boat too. We’re going to have to be at our best on Friday.”