Queensland fullback Billy Slater admits he may have to undergo shoulder surgery after next week’s State of Origin II in Melbourne, ruling him out of the rest of the NRL season.
Slater said he was in no doubt for Origin II despite not being sighted since Queensland’s 11-10 game one win in Sydney last month due to the left shoulder complaint.
“I can’t rule anything out. My focus is the next week, that’s all – what happens after that, we’ll see,” said Slater who underwent off-season surgery on his other shoulder last year.
Slater – 32 next week – expects to be targeted at the MCG on Wednesday night.
“Everyone is under pressure in their positions – you can’t hide in Origin,” said Slater, who is off contract at NRL club Melbourne this year.
“That’s all policed. I am not too worried about that.
“When I am out there I am fair game.”
Slater said he expected to take part in all field training sessions in the lead-up to Origin II despite reports Maroons staff were monitoring him because the shoulder pain was so great it was disrupting his sleep.
Slater had a target on his head already after NSW took offence to what they believed were grubby tactics by the veteran No.1 in game one.
The Blues are believed to be seeking retribution for an Origin I incident where Slater appeared to slam his forearm into unsuspecting NSW centre Josh Morris’ back late in a tackle.
But Slater said he wasn’t taking much notice of any talk coming out of the Blues camp.
“It’s water off a duck’s back. It’s irrelevant really,” he said.
“Come kick off I don’t think anyone will be too worried about what anyone said in the paper.”