State of Origin football is still on incumbent Kangaroos flyer Josh Mansour’s 2015 “to do” list despite having his Test hopes crushed by a knee injury.
Penrith’s injury curse struck again when Mansour was ruled out for up to six weeks with a knee complaint just days before coach Tim Sheens was about to name his Kangaroos squad for the May 1 trans-Tasman Test in Brisbane.
But Mansour has backed himself to make up for the disappointment by cracking Blues mentor Laurie Daley’s NSW Origin squad this year.
Mansour was quietly confident of donning the Sky Blue for the first time this year, even if overlooked for the NSW team to be named in a month ahead of the May 27 Origin opener.
“I am confident I can get back as fast as I can and be in the frame again,” he said of Origin football.
“It was a goal of mine to play rep footy this year but in saying that I have to keep my head up and hopefully that will come later in the year.”
Mansour is the latest to fall foul of Penrith’s lousy luck with injuries this season ahead of Saturday’s home NRL clash with Cronulla.
He joins Jamie Soward (back), Peter Wallace (knee), Jamal Idris (knee), Lewis Brown (ribs), Brent Kite (leg) and Elijah Taylor (knee) on the sidelines.
But Mansour was still counting his lucky stars after fearing the worst when his knee buckled in last round’s NRL loss at the Gold Coast.
Instead of planning for next year, scans revealed on Monday night that Mansour had suffered a medial ligament injury and that he was a chance of fast-tracking his return.
“I was frustrated but what can you do?” said Mansour who won a Four Nations Kangaroos debut last year after postponing a shoulder reconstruction and ankle surgery.
“It’s not the end of the world. At least it wasn’t my ACL.
“But in saying that I want go get back on the field as fast as I can – hopefully it is a speedy process.
“When I first did it I was a bit nervous because with your knees you’re never too sure.
“Luckily I got the scans done and it didn’t come out too bad.”
Asked if he could explain Penrith’s injury curse, Mansour said: “It’s just a bit of bad luck.
“It has taken its toll a bit but as a team we love adversity.”
George Jennings – brother of Sydney Roosters star Michael – will replace Mansour on the wing against Cronulla.