Jason Taumalolo. North Queensland Cowboys return from Brisbane after their loss to the Broncos. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Jason Taumalolo. North Queensland Cowboys return from Brisbane after their loss to the Broncos. Picture: Alix Sweeney

Taumalolo injury: Cowboys hope for the best

THE Cowboys are remaining optimistic about Jason Taumalolo's chances of a quick recovery as the inspirational forward awaits scans on his injured knee.

Taumalolo is facing up to a month on the sidelines with a suspected low-grade medial sprain to his right knee after he was brought down awkwardly in a tackle in Friday's 29-10 loss to the Broncos.

The hulking lock played on with heavy strapping for more than 20 minutes before he was forced from the field shortly before halftime, managing just 43m from his seven carries.

The Cowboys were left battered and bruised following their derby showdown in Brisbane as Taumalolo and winger Nene Macdonald (concussion) were both unable to finish the game.

Forward John Asiata also left the field for a HIA while halfback Michael Morgan appeared to struggle with a shoulder injury, but neither player is in doubt for this Saturday's home clash with Cronulla.

Jason Taumalolo. North Queensland Cowboys return from Brisbane after their loss to the Broncos. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Jason Taumalolo. North Queensland Cowboys return from Brisbane after their loss to the Broncos. Picture: Alix Sweeney

Macdonald is also expected to be cleared to play, but the club has yet to confirm the extent of Taumalolo's injury after he had scans upon returning to Townsville over the weekend.

"He's a little bit stiff which is to be expected, but we're not going to speculate until after we see the scans," Cowboys assistant coach Josh Hannay said.

"It'd be a huge loss. He's an important part of our team, we all know that, so we're all fingers crossed that it's not too bad and if he is to miss any time it's not too long.

Morgan spent much of the game favouring his right shoulder after grabbing at his upper arm during a tackle early in the second half, but Hannay said the Cowboys captain had no injury concerns.

"Nothing was brought to our attention by our medical staff. There were no complaints from 'Morgo' throughout the game," Hannay said.

"For whatever reason he may have just lacked a little bit of confidence with his defence, but as far as we know there's nothing there that we need to be concerned about.

"We feel like those guys that did have a few bumps and bruises will come out of that ok."

Hannay refused to blame North Queensland's injury woes for their poor showing against the Broncos, saying the home side had simply beaten them to the punch at times.

"It's a big occasion the game against Brisbane every year so the players were up for it, it was just from the outset I think Brisbane beat us to the punch on both sides of the ball," he said.

"They probably ran a bit harder and they tackled a bit harder and that was once we tried to get back into the game they were well and truly on top and it was just hard to get any ascendancy back.

"We've just got to take our lessons out of it and make sure we don't make the same mistakes again."



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