Gareth Widdop is rushing back for the Dragons after injuring his shoulder in round 22 against the Parramatta Eels. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images
Gareth Widdop is rushing back for the Dragons after injuring his shoulder in round 22 against the Parramatta Eels. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Casualty ward: Widdop back, De Belin doubts

THE struggling Dragons have received mixed injury news ahead of the finals with captain Gareth Widdop a certain starter for next week's sudden death clash, but Jack De Belin in doubt due to a foot injury.

Widdop will "definitely" return after three weeks on the sideline due to a dislocated shoulder.

Coach Paul McGregor said the English five-eighth would have played against the Knights on Saturday if his side were playing for a top four berth.

"He'll definitely be playing next week," McGregor revealed after the Dragons scored just their third win in nine games with a 24-14 victory over the Knights on Saturday.

"The reason he didn't play is we lost our opportunity to finish in the top four."

 

De Belin says he heard a crack in his right foot early in game. He managed to play on but was confined to a moon boot after the game and will be sent for scans on Monday.

The NSW representative battled a hip pointer issue earlier in the year that required painkilling injections for over two months.

Jack De Belin managed to finish despite a foot injury.
Jack De Belin managed to finish despite a foot injury.

Meanwhile, centre Euan Aitken (hamstring) and winger Jason Nightingale (elbow) are aiming to return for week one of the finals.

"He (Aitken) is a good chance, and Jase is a chance as well," McGregor said. "We'll find out a little more about those two guys later in the week. But Gareth will do everything this week at training."

Euan Aitken limps off with a hamstring injury last week. He is set to return for the finals. Picture: Brett Costello
Euan Aitken limps off with a hamstring injury last week. He is set to return for the finals. Picture: Brett Costello

In other injury news:

* THE Rabbitohs have breathed a sigh of relief with grand final-winning forward Sam Burgess (hamstring) expected to play next week. Bunnies' fans had hearts in their mouths when the 2014 Clive Churchill Medallist limped off with 27 minutes to go in Friday's big win over the Tigers. However, Burgess later took to Twitter to announce his availability for week one of the finals.

"Hamstring all good guys. Thanks for all messages of support, what a team performance last night. Regular season done and dusted. All starts again now. Let's go baby," Burgess said. Burgess said he believed the injury was more likely a neural problem rather than a hamstring strain;

* THE Warriors are confident Simon Mannering (sternum) will take the field in week one of the finals despite making it through just 42 minutes on Friday. Coach Stephen Kearney said Mannering was in serious pain but tipped him to be "wheeled out" for the finals. He will likely require a painkilling injection. Issac Luke (concussion) was taken from the field with 17 minutes to go;

Simon Mannering is battling a sternum issue.
Simon Mannering is battling a sternum issue.

* MELBOURNE'S Cameron Munster (knee) is a certain starter next week after sitting out Friday's loss to the Panthers. Suliasi Vunivalu (hamstring) is also pushing for a return, while the Storm say Billy Slater (family matter) won't be rushed. Brodie Croft (knee) will resume training on Monday after having fluid drained from his knee, an injury sustained in a freak lawn bowls incident;

* PENRITH forward Corey Harawira-Naera (concussion) was a pre-game withdrawal for the Panthers. Young hooker Wayde Egan played ISP after battling a knee injury during the week;

* ROOSTERS centre Latrell Mitchell (dangerous contact) can escape suspension with an early guilty plea;

* MANLY fullback Tom Trbojevic (concussion) failed to finish.

* CENTRE Kane Linnett's final game for the Cowboys ended after 67 minutes due to a leg injury;

* TITANS coach Garth Brennan revealed youngster AJ Brimson played through a dislocated shoulder and broken thumb against the Cowboys on Saturday.

AJ Brimson played through shoulder and thumb injuries in the final game for the Titans.
AJ Brimson played through shoulder and thumb injuries in the final game for the Titans.

FULL NRL CASUALTY WARD

BRONCOS

Andrew McCullough (Concussion, Finals week one)

Andre Savelio (ACL, Season)

Matt Gillett (Broken neck, Season)

Payne Haas (Shoulder, Season)

Jack Bird (Sternum, Indefinite)

Jaydn Su'A (Leg/foot, Season)

BULLDOGS

Kieran Foran (Foot, Season)

Raymond Faitala-Mariner (Hand/knee, Season)

Marcelo Montoya (Hamstring, Season)

COWBOYS

Sam Hoare (ACL, Season)

Michael Morgan (Bicep, Season)

Josh Chudleigh (Knee, Season)

Antonio Winterstein (Knee, Retired)

Kane Linnett (Leg, Season)

DRAGONS

Gareth Widdop (Shoulder, Finals week one)

Paul Vaughan (Foot, Season)

Euan Aitken (Hamstring, Finals week one)

Jason Nightingale (Dislocated elbow, Finals week one)

Jack De Belin (Foot, TBC)

EELS

Tony Williams (ACL, Season)

Beau Scott (ACL, Season)

Manu Ma'u (Cheekbone, Season)

Josh Hoffman (Shoulder, Season)

Kaysa Pritchard (Shoulder, Season)

Daniel Alvaro (Concussion/knee, Season)

Nathan Brown (Knee, Season)

Will Smith (Hamstring, Season)

KNIGHTS

Kalyn Ponga (Ankle, Season)

Slade Griffin (Knee, Season)

Tautau Moga (ACL, Season)

Jacob Saifiti (Shoulder, Season)

Nathan Ross (Groin, Season)

Jacob Lillyman (Abdominal, Season)

Lachlan Fitzgibbon (Concussion, Season)

PANTHERS

Corey Harawira-Naera (Concussion, Finals week one)

Dean Whare (Broken arm, Season)

Sam McKendry (ACL, Season)

Tim Browne (Ruptured bowel, Retired)

Dylan Edwards (Shoulder, Season)

Peter Wallace (Shoulder, Retired)

Jarome Luai (Ankle, Season)

RABBITOHS

Sam Burgess (Hamstring, Finals week one)

Adam Doueihi (ACL, Season)

Mark Nicholls (Fractured fibula, Indefinite)

Richie Kennar (Foot, Indefinite)

RAIDERS

Ata Hingano (Ankle, Season)

Jack Wighton (Disciplinary, Season)

Jarrod Croker (Knee, Season)

Michael Oldfield (Knee, Season)

Aidan Sezer (Hamstring, Season)

Joseph Tapine (Broken thumb, Season)

ROOSTERS

Bernard Lewis (ACL, Season)

Dylan Napa (Suspension, Finals week three/four)

SEA EAGLES

Tom Trbojevic (Concussion, Season)

Apisai Koroisau (Foot, Season)

Curtis Sironen (ACL, Season)

Lachlan Croker (ACL, Season)

Akuila Uate (Ankle, Season)

SHARKS

Jack Williams (Pectoral, Season)

Jesse Ramien (Ankle, Finals week one)

Ricky Leutele (Knee, Finals)

STORM

Billy Slater (Family matter, Finals week one)

Brodie Croft (Knee, Finals week one)

Cameron Munster (Knee, Finals week one)

Suliasi Vunivalu (Hamstring, Finals week one)

Nelson Asofa-Solomona (Ankle, Finals week two)

Brandon Smith (Knee, Finals week two)

Will Chambers (Suspension, Finals week two)

TITANS

AJ Brimson (Shoulder/thumb, Season)

Dale Copley (Hamstring, Season)

Max King (Shoulder, Season)

Morgan Boyle (Shoulder, Season)

Michael Gordon (Wrist, Season)

Tyrone Roberts-Davis (Neck, Season)

WARRIORS

Nathaniel Roache (Back, Season)

Blake Green (Corked thigh, Finals week one)

Simon Mannering (Sternum, Finals week one)

Issac Luke (Concussion, Finals week one)

WESTS TIGERS

Josh Reynolds (Shoulder, Season)

Corey Thompson (Ankle, Season)



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