St George Illawarra will almost certainly face Brisbane in Friday night’s NRL clash without star halfback Benji Marshall.
The former New Zealand international limped off early in the Dragons’ win over the Warriors last weekend with a hamstring strain.
Despite being named on Tuesday by coach Paul McGregor, Marshall hasn’t trained all week and is seemingly set to sit out the clash with the Broncos.
“He’s very unlikely to play – that’s the total truth,” McGregor said on Thursday.
“He will come to training today and have a light jog but he hasn’t been on the grass yet this week.
“A week’s a really short turnaround for a hamstring strain, especially when you leave the field with one.
“I would think at this stage he won’t be playing.”
Marshall’s absence means youngster Drew Hutchinson will be pitched into the game, as the Dragons look to extend a two-game winning streak to further cement their finals aspirations.
McGregor says he’s confident the former Junior Kangaroo can deliver against the table-topping Broncos.
“Young Drew, he’s had one game against Cronulla, but we were understrength that day as well. We had nine other guys out as well, so it wasn’t a real good indication of how good the player can be,” McGregor said.
“He did play up here against Queensland a few weeks ago and won man of the match in the 20s match as a halfback, against some quality footballers, so he can play footy.
“I’m quite comfortable that, if he does take the field, he can do a good job.”