FORMER Australia star Jamal Idris says he was agonisingly close to making his return from a broken leg against Melbourne this weekend and is “locked in” for the first week of the finals if Gold Coast make it.
The Titans arrived in Melbourne late Thursday for a match on Saturday they must win – and hope other results go their way – if they are to qualify for the finals.
Storm officials have an eye on Gold Coast’s Idris, Nate Myles (ankle), David Mead (back) and William Zillman (back). Of those, only Myles, who will make a desperate bid to be fit, was named in coach John Carwright’s squad.
But Idris told Fairfax Media he would not be a late inclusion and planned to watch the game on television.
“Yes,” Idris said when asked if he was a chance of playing at AAMI Park.
“I was running and stuff. But in saying that, it didn’t really justify me coming back if I was only 50-50. There was still a slight chance of me being injured again.
“Then I wouldn’t be back until next year.”
Mark Ioane is the man on standby for Myles, who suffered a suspected syndesmosis of the ankle in the upset win over Sydney Roosters on Sunday.
Ioane, who travelled as 18th man, is well short of match fitness, having not played in six weeks due to a knee injury.
Livewire halfback Albert Kelly is another injury doubt for Gold Coast; he aggravated a sternum injury at Allianz Stadium.
If the Titans were to win, it would be the first time they have ever beaten Melbourne twice in a season.
The Storm have won four of their last five against the team from the tourist strip and fullback Billy Slater has scored seven tries in his last four games against them.
NB: Since this story appeared, Gold Coast was eliminated from the finals race with a 23-22 defeat to Melbourne.
Filed for: THE AGE