Named in the team to tackle the Roosters, Sharks skipper Paul Gallen was front and centre at training today at Remondis Stadium in preparation for Sunday’s game.
Gallen took part in the warm-up skill work, a contact drill and then opposed ball-work showing no obvious signs of the hip problem which has seen him sidelined since round six.
The Sharks have another training session scheduled for tomorrow afternoon, then a Captains run on Saturday morning, with Gallen needing to show the coaching and medical staff he is fit and ready to go before he is given the final green light for the Roosters game on Sunday.
While the indications regarding Gallen were positive, the fact that Ricky Leutele and Sosaia Feki both trained strongly at the same session this morning was also good news for the Sharks.
The pair have been named on an extended interchange bench but seem likely to be available this weekend, leaving coach Shane Flanagan with a couple of selection decisions to make.
Should Feki be cleared to return it would be two weeks ahead of schedule, with the strong running winger originally predicted to make his comeback in round 15.
Suspended rather than injured, Chris Heighington has also been named to return.
“It’s been very frustrating,” Heighington said of his time out of the game. “With two byes thrown in it’s been five weeks on the sideline.
As for the other injured Sharks, all are expected to be missing for extended periods, with young Sharks outside back Jacob Gagan the latest to join the long-term injury list.
Gagan suffered a season-ending Achilles tendon injury while playing for Newtown in the NSW Cup two weeks ago.
Capping off a dismal season on the injury front, Gagan had previously battled hamstring problems since sustaining an injury in the pre-season trial match against Manly.
Of the other Sharks squad members in the casualty ward, Anthony Tupou dropped by Sharks training late last week but has yet to begin eating solid foods and is a long way from returning after badly breaking his jaw, while the status of Fa’amanu Brown remains unchanged, with the young utility hopeful, yet unlikely, of being cleared to play during 2015.
Follow the link to the Injury News page for a more detailed account of the Sharks ‘casualty ward’.
CLICK HERE for the Injury News page