Sharks skipper Paul Gallen is making progress, as is prop Sam Tagataese, however the news on Joseph Paulo might not be so positive, with all three racing the clock and doing all they can to be back on deck for the Grand Final qualifier on Friday, September 23.
Gallen was again restricted to light duties today as he continues his recovery from a back injury suffered in innocuous circumstances last week.
Feeling somewhat stiff and sore after field and gym sessions on Tuesday, Gallen’s back condition flared up and became increasingly worse as the week went on, forcing his withdrawal from the game against the Raiders.
With the Sharks having the weekend off, medical and coaching staff are optimistic that with time and rest the skipper will be fit and ready to go by the following Friday.
As for prop Sam Tagataese, the status of the Sharks prop remains largely unknown, although the player himself is positive about his chances of being available for the teams’ next match.
“It’s coming along okay, I think I might be right, then it will be up to the coach,” Tagataese said earlier today.
Tagataese suffered a fracture in his shoulder when the Sharks played the Raiders back in round 22.
Joseph Paulo, the other injured Sharks top grader was hard at work in the gym today, with a return to full training unlikely before the week of the Grand Final. Paulo injured a knee in the Sharks final round loss to Melbourne.
The only other slight concern centred on second rower and stand in skipper Wade Graham.
After being assisted from the field in just the seventh minute following a head knock in Canberra on Saturday, Graham failed the dressing room concussion test, ruling him out for the remainder of the game.
Since that time he has progressed well, passing the concussion protocols to this point while feeling no ill-effects from the head knock, meaning Graham is almost a certain starter for the Sharks Grand Final qualifying match.
All other players came through the Raiders win unscathed, as did the Sharks-contracted contingent representing the Newtown Jets.
Jordan Drew, who underwent season-ending shoulder surgery, is the only other player unavailable.