Sharks half back Chad Townsend was yesterday given the all clear to return to full training after scans revealed his broken thumb had healed.
Townsend was injured in a training mishap in one of the first session after the Christmas break, with the news of his availability a positive development ahead of the Sharks trip to the UK to take on the Wigan Warriors in the World Club Challenge.
“Chad has been given the all-clear to resume playing and training,” Sharks coach Shane Flanagan said. “He can start doing contact again and could have played the Nines, however with his lack of that contact training in recent weeks we thought it best he sit out this weekend.
“He will be good to go for the World Club Challenge match on February 19.”
The injury status of Sosaia Feki and Tony Williams, the only other top-squad players missing from the Nines and Redcliffe team lists this weekend, was equally encouraging. Both players are almost certain of being back on deck and available for selection for the Sharks round one match against the Broncos.
The pair were injured at training last Friday, Feki tweaking the same knee which saw him taken from the field in the Grand Final, Williams suffering a slight hamstring strain.
“Feki has re-injured his knee. He is a chance of playing a lower grade trial before round one, but if not it looks like he’ll be ready to play the Broncos,” Flanagan explained.
“As for Tony Williams, he is still a chance of being a part of our 20-man squad to go to the UK. If not, he will be back on deck before the opening round as well.”
Excluding the three players listed above the remainder of the Sharks NRL training group is fit and raring to go at the two different venues this weekend.
Wade Graham will lead an 18-man squad in the NRL Nines tournament on Saturday, while Paul Gallen, James Maloney, Valentine Holmes, and Andrew Fifita are amongst those who will be in action in Redcliffe in a trial match against the Brisbane Broncos on the same day.