Jake Friend’s Roosters teammates are confident the tough No.9 can overcome a lung complaint to play the Cowboys in Friday’s NRL semi-final.
Sydney Roosters are confident hooker Jake Friend can return from bleeding on the lung for Friday’s do-or-die NRL semi-final against North Queensland.
The tough dummy half suffered a haemothorax in the premiers’ round 25 win over Melbourne and missed their final round victory over South Sydney and Saturday’s qualifying final loss to Penrith.
Friend resumed training last week and is set to return to practice with the team this week, in readiness for the Cowboys clash.
Roosters in-form centre Shaun Kenny-Dowall said the elimination nature of the contest would spur Friend on.
“It is do-or-die football and he has been training this week and fingers are crossed and our hopes are high he will make a full return to training this week,” Kenny-Dowall said on Monday.
“It was terrible what happened, it is a big injury to come back from.
“But Friendy is a tough bloke, he is a key part of the team so the boys get a lot of confidence to see him running around again.”
Utility Mitchell Aubusson and young gun Jackson Hastings filled in admirably for the Roosters in their win over Souths, but struggled at times against the Panthers.
Friend’s return would be a huge boost for the Roosters, who will also welcome back Queensland back-rower Aidan Guerra from suspension.
“Jake is coming along really well,” backrower Boyd Cordner said.
“It is obviously well documented that he has started to run and train last week.
“I don’t know where he is at the moment but he is pretty positive and wants to play.
“He hasn’t had a team session yet and we’ll just have to wait and see with Friendy.”