Shaun Kenny-Dowall is in line to return from almost two months on the sidelines in the Sydney Roosters’ final-round NRL match on Friday night against South Sydney.
Kenny-Dowall hasn’t played since round 18 due to concerns over his mental well being amid domestic violence allegations levelled against him, to which he has pleaded not guilty.
But coach Trent Robinson said on Thursday the Kiwi international was likely to return for the clash with the Rabbitohs.
“Shaun is pretty close, he has had a good week, he has trained a bit of last week and all this week so, if he is right to go, he will be in tomorrow night,” Robinson said.
“It is important for him to get back into his footy.
“Brendan Elliott has done an amazing job but Shaun is one of our leaders and the way that he was playing is important to how we play.
“Getting him back and getting him back to his best could be important over the next couple of weeks.”
Elliott, filling in capably on the Roosters’ right wing in Kenny-Dowall’s absence, was named to play there again by Robinson in the team list released on Tuesday.
But Robinson said he was keen to get Kenny-Dowall back before the finals start next week and he would make a final decision on Friday morning.
“Getting Shaun back in before the finals, if he is ready, is important,” Robinson said. “It has been based on if he is ready and that is the assessment he has made and we have made.”
Robinson said Kenny-Dowall would not turn out for the Roosters’ feeder club Wyong in the first week of the NSW Cup finals if he did not play against Souths.
The case against Kenny-Dowall is next due for mention on September 17, however the 27-year-old will not be required to attend the hearing.