QUEENSLAND legend Johnathan Thurston has left the door ajar for a return to the Origin arena in 2018.
The champion playmaker had previously stated he would be retiring from representative football after this year's World Cup, but he may be having second thoughts after the way his stint in the Maroons jersey ended this year.
Thurston missed Origin I with injury and damaged his shoulder badly when recalled for Origin II. He won the match for Queensland with a sideline conversion at the death but after the game scans revealed he needs surgery and will be out for the rest of the season.
He will return to the NRL in 2018 and another stint in the interstate cauldron is not out of the question.
"If I got the call from the coach, I'd probably consider it,” Thurston told The Footy Show on Thursday night.
Thurston also revealed his emotional response to the shoulder injury that ended his season, saying the setback has left him devastated.
"I was still a bit numb when he (the doctor) was telling me about it,” Thurston said.
"It wasn't until I got in the car and rang Samantha (his wife), I couldn't speak.
"Just the season coming to an end, I understand injuries are part of the game, but my career is coming to the end, it's just frustrating and devastating that it's been cut short this year.”
Thurston revealed the hardest part was breaking the news to his Maroons teammates.
The Origin match winner revealing that Queensland captain Cameron Smith was the first person, outside of his family and doctor to hear the news.
"I told him I need to get surgery,” Thurston revealed through tears. "He's just such a close mate, one of my best mates, that's all. He was just shattered for me.
"Footy has been a big part of my life, so obviously with the World Cup at the end of the year and Origin III, it just makes it so much more difficult and more painful.”
While Thurston struggles to accept the fact his 2017 season is over, and he will miss the chance to steer Queensland and Australia to further triumphs, his wife can see the silver lining.
"I think the way he ended his Origin career (in game two), was amazing,” she told Nine.
"It will go down in history books as one of the great all-time Origin performances, so if it had to end that way, it was a special way to finish.
"Watching him kick that goal and getting Queensland into the decider, there wasn't a much more prouder moment.”
Thurston also revealed his mindset as he stood over the conversion that would eventually see Queensland claim an 18-16 win, and send the State of Origin series to a decider.
Pressure-filled situations like that one can break a player, but not Thurston.
"I thrive on it,” Thurston said.
"You don't think about the state or anything like that. You feel like you're the only person on the field.
"I felt ready for it, that's what I wanted. As soon as I got the ball, it's my time to shine.”