Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin says back-rower Sam Thaiday is doubtful for Queensland’s Origin opener after again being a no-show at Broncos training.
Sam Thaiday’s struggles with a calf muscle injury appear set to test Queensland State of Origin selectors’ famous loyalty.
Maroons coach Mal Meninga has declared he’ll stick with his incumbent back row for the series opener on May 28 in Brisbane, telling the Seven Network that Thaiday would “be there” despite a month spent on the sidelines.
However, Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin painted a grim picture on Thursday after ruling Thaiday out of the Broncos’ clash with Gold Coast on Friday when his ex-skipper was again a forced no-show at training.
“At the moment, it’s not about playing football … he can’t get through a couple of run throughs,” said Griffin.
Pressed about Thaiday’s Origin game one prospects, Griffin said: “I would have to speak to our (medical) guys and speak to Sam about that.
“That is a couple of weeks away. A lot can change in a couple of weeks.
“At the moment, he would be doubtful.”
Thaiday had been all smiles when he fronted the media on Monday and gave himself the green light for Friday’s Suncorp Stadium clash with the Titans.
“At the start of the week, he was (a chance of playing) but he just keeps having little problems with the calf,” Griffin said.
“We have to be patient with him. It’s frustrating for everyone.
“But sometimes with calf injuries, they can be like that – up and down.
“He’s got a couple of little things going on there. We will wait and see how he recovers.”
Thaiday has not played since the round-six clash with the Titans on April 11 and his plight looks set to challenge Queensland’s selectors before they name their team on Monday night.
Either way, the door appears ajar for in-form Gold Coast wrecking ball David Taylor to end his two-year Origin exile and Broncos forward Josh McGuire to push his game-one claims.
Apart from Thaiday, a question mark looms over fellow Maroons back-row incumbents Chris McQueen and Josh Papalii who have had limited playing time at South Sydney and Canberra respectively this year.
Meninga will attend the Raiders’ Sunday clash with Penrith to run the rule over Papalii while selector Alan Smith will assess McQueen – who has had fewer minutes off the bench in 2014 – at the Rabbitohs-Melbourne game on Friday night.
Papalii appears most at risk of being cut after recently being dropped to Queensland Cup.
Maroons chairman of selectors Des Morris will head to Suncorp on Friday night to cast his eye over Taylor, McGuire and Queensland’s other back-row incumbents Corey Parker, Matt Gillett and Ben Te’o.