North Queensland skipper Johnathan Thurston won’t train until Thursday as he continues to recover from a corked calf in time for Sunday’s NRL decider against Brisbane.
Thurston came off late in last Saturday’s preliminary win in Melbourne as a precaution, and scans on Monday cleared him of any major damage.
A nagging groin injury has also plagued the Cowboys halfback in recent weeks, however he declared himself a certain starter against the Broncos.
“I am still a bit tender from the flight and the game on the weekend but it’ll be fine come Sunday,” Thurston said on Tuesday.
The Australian and Queensland playmaker will be put on ice over the next two days before the team flies down to Sydney on Thursday morning.
A grand final parade will be held on their way to the airport, beginning from the town centre.
“He’ll do what he has to do. Obviously we’re not taking any unnecessary risks,” coach Paul Green said of Thurston’s status.
“He probably won’t run (Wednesday), but we’ll see how he pulls up.
“We’ve still got two sessions after that.”
Green also said the trip to Sydney held no fears for his men, who have won a club record 10 of their 14 games away from home this season, including eight in a row earlier this year.
“It’s something as a club and as a team we had to get past, (but) a lot of other people made more of it than we did,” he said.
“We’ve put any questions about our away record to bed this year, so playing in Sydney doesn’t worry us.”
Thurston had earlier thanked the NRL for allowing him to miss Monday night’s Dally M awards in Sydney as he continued his recovery in Townsville.
The 32-year-old broke down in tears upon receiving the medal via link at Jupiters Casino, but said his attention had now turned to helping the club achieve its maiden premiership on Sunday.
“I know there’s a lot of chat getting thrown about my standing in the game,” he said.
“I’ve got ways to deal with that, shift my mentality to now and focus on the task at hand.
“And that’s not letting the boys down and making sure I get my preparation right.”
North Queensland have lost two of their three clashes against Brisbane in 2015, including a 16-12 nailbiter at Suncorp Stadium in the first week of the finals.