Michael Morgan completes light duties alongside Johnathan Thurston. Picture: Evan Morgan
Michael Morgan completes light duties alongside Johnathan Thurston. Picture: Evan Morgan

Morgan in doubt for blockbuster derby

MICHAEL Morgan is in danger of missing the Cowboys' derby clash with the Broncos after coach Paul Green revealed the playmaker is still struggling with an abdominal injury.

The North Queensland star suffered the strain at a training session early last week and was ruled out of his team's season-opening win over the Sharks.

The Cowboys were confident he would return for Friday night's Round 2 blockbuster at Suncorp Stadium and he has been named in the team's extended squad.

Michael Morgan completes light duties alongside Johnathan Thurston. Picture: Evan Morgan
Michael Morgan completes light duties alongside Johnathan Thurston. Picture: Evan Morgan

But Green is now preparing to be without Morgan, with the 26-year-old yet to prove his fitness.

"He's still a chance but I'd say it's more than likely he won't be playing," Green said.

"It's about being able to train pain-free and then also pulling up well the next day. It's one of those injuries that you just don't know how they're going to recover.

"Once you do a bit (of training), you might feel all right but then pull up pretty sore the next day.

"The risk with those is if you push them too hard too early, they drag on for quite a while.

"I want to give him until Thursday ... but I would say he's unlikely to play."

Green said the injury had forced Morgan to sit out parts of Tuesday's training session.

Te Maire Martin has been named in the starting side as Morgan's replacement but would move to the bench as a utility if the Queensland and Australian star manages to prove his fitness ahead of Friday.

Te Maire Martin has been named to start. Picture: Evan Morgan
Te Maire Martin has been named to start. Picture: Evan Morgan

"He did most of the session," Green said of Morgan.

"Different things made it sore. It's one of things where you don't know exactly what is going to stir it up until you actually try and do it.

"He is frustrated but it's more about wanting to get out there with the team. He thought he would have been right last week."

Fullback Lachlan Coote will not make his return for the clash as he continues his recovery from a hamstring injury.

Green said Coote will be back by Round 3 "at the earliest", with Ben Hampton to again fill in for the off-contract star.

Fullback Lachlan Coote will miss another week as he recovers from a hamstring injury. Picture: Zak Simmonds
Fullback Lachlan Coote will miss another week as he recovers from a hamstring injury. Picture: Zak Simmonds

Meanwhile, Green said the NRL have not given the Cowboys any indication whether they will clear Todd Carney, after the Cowboys officially lodged a request to register the playmaker in first grade again.

"We tried to get a bit of a position from them early in the piece but they didn't really give us much of an indication," Green said.

"Now that we have lodged the contract, hopefully that process will swing into gear."

NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said he will seek out a meeting with Carney before any decision is made.



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