The embarrassing foot issue that delayed his Home State buildup will only heighten the attention of Queensland star Cameron Munster for next week’s show opener.
The Maroons’ eighth declared himself fit to face NSW at Townsville on Wednesday after coming out of practice unscathed this week.
The last year’s player in the series missed last month at club level with Melbourne and admitted he was in pain following his first practice game with the Maroons on Thursday.
Playing injured is nothing new for Munster, who defied a knee injury to help the Storm win last year’s grand final and then was crucial to Queensland’s 2-1 win over the Blues.
The 26-year-old knows he can build on those achievements to deliver next week.
“I think it’s just a state of mind. Obviously I had to go and when I knew I was injured I knew I had to make sure I was right to play and I knew that I had to be at my best to play, ”Munster mentioned.
“When you’re feeling great and you’re fresh and fit, sometimes you forget that you really have to roll up your sleeves and dig.
“I’ll be there Wednesday night to make sure I can do whatever I can to give these boys that sense of victory that we had last year.”
Munster’s availability will be a huge relief for Maroons coach Paul Green, who has already lost a mercurial talent to Kalyn Ponga due to a groin injury.
Hooker Harry Grant also trained on Friday and looks good to retain the No.9 shirt, meaning Parramatta’s Reed Mahoney may well be released this weekend to play for the Eels on Sunday against Newcastle.
After missing part of Thursday’s practice, AJ Brimson was at CBUS Super Stadium from the start of Friday’s practice, although his left knee was heavily tied up.
Veteran center Dane Gagai missed the session due to illness, but Maroons staff are confident the 30-year-old has no doubts about Wednesday’s game.
Queensland will have another session on the Gold Coast on Sunday, before flying to Townsville on Monday.
Munster said there was a chance he could make his injury at Lisfranc worse, but it’s a risk he’s willing to take to be part of the historic sold-out game at Queensland Country Bank Stadium.
“There is no coating. Anyone who has injuries and is going to play there knows there will always be a risk,” he said.
“I could come out unharmed and be fine, then four days later someone is standing on top of it. It’s hard to say.
“There will always be a risk when you play rugby league for sure.”
Associated Australian Press