NSW star Greg Bird described his chances of recovering from an ankle ligament injury suffered in the heavy loss to Penrith as “a lottery” as he left Darwin’s TIO Stadium in a moonboot late on Saturday.
The Blues forward suffered the rolled left ankle in his first run of the 40-18 defeat and opted to play on despite an injury he described as being “painful … really painful”
He’ll be assessed on the Gold Coast and again in Sydney when he enters camp for the deciding interstate encounter at ANZ Stadium on July 17.
“It’s just a precaution in case there’s something serious there,” he said of the the surgical boot he wore as he left the Marrara Sporting Complex.
“It’s just a lottery. Hopefully it’s alright.
“It was painful, really painful but I guess it’s promising that I did play 60-odd minutes on it. Although it was quite painful, I did get through it so hopefully – given 10 days rest – it’s just a minor sprain.”
Describing the incident responsible, Bird said: “The first run, I got caught from behind. It’s always the ones you don’t see that hurt. It just got caught on the ground underneath me and it was quite painful then .
“We just sort of strapped it over the boot and played the rest of the half. It’s sort of in the joint so you can’t really get at it with a needle.
“(The doctor) said it’s a ligament strain but I’ve done it before so hopefully I’ve re-aggravated an old injury. They’re quite painful when you do them but they tend to heal pretty quickly.
“We go home for a night. Monday morning I fly down (to Sydney). We’ll reassess the situation with the doctor tomorrow when I get back to the coast and go down and let the NSW medical staff examine it but fingers crossed it’s just bumps and bruises.”
Asked if he considered coming off, Bird said; “I did but I thought we needed as many leaders as we can out there in games like that so I decided to play on with it.”
The Panthers’ victory gave lie to suggestions they are in a rebuilding year and moved them into sixth place. “That word, rebuilding, is for the people in management, not for the players,” said captain Kevin Kingston.
“We’re here to win every week”
Winger James Roberts, sacked by South Sydney for disciplinary reasons, posted a second half hat-trick. “He’s an undoubted talents, James,” said coach Ivan Cleary.
“He’s got things you can’t coach and not necessarily everyone’s got. But he’s still learning the game and that’s only his probably fifth football game in any grade this year so he should hopefully get better.
“He’s definitely exciting.”
Titans coach John Cartwright said his men showed lack of confidence in each other. Captain Nate Myles said: “We don’t want to be just hanging on and scraping into the top eight when it comes finals time.
“We want to be improving and the last two weeks, we haven’t felt or looked like the side we were.”
Filed for: SUN-HERALD