It has been revealed that Penrith Panther star forward Liam Martin will not be able to do any contact training until the captain's run for the NSW Blues ahead of Game 2 of the 2023 State of Origin series.
Blues coach Brad Fittler elected to take the gamble to name not only Martin, but also South Sydney Rabbitohs' duo Latrell Mitchell and Cameron Murray on Tuesday morning ahead of the game next Wednesday evening at Suncorp Stadium.
Mitchell missed the series-opener in Adelaide after being a late withdrawal through a calf injury, but hasn't played for the Rabbitohs since.
Murray, on the other hand, came out of Origin 1 with a tight groin that he then injured backing up just days later for the Rabbitohs. He too missed Saturday's loss to the St George Illawarra Dragons at Kogarah.
It means Fittler goes into Game 2 - which could possibly decide his own future as Blues coach - with three players in the 17 who won't be able to train in the coming days.
Martin in particular will go into Gamme 2 heavily underdone, with the captain's run session not generally being a high impact or heavy contact session.
Fox Sports' Cody Kaye confirmed the Blues camp had said Martin won't be able to do contact training until Day 10, although will be able to slowly ramp up other areas of his training as the camp, and number of days since his concussion, progresses.
"He [Liam Martin] obviously suffered a concussion for the Panthers in their last start, but he has to pass a number of protocols through the week to play," Kaye said on Fox Sports News.
"I spoke to Penrith today, their team doctor spoke to him yesterday and said he was fine and wasn't reporting any symptoms at all. Speaking to the Blues today, Liam Martin won't be able to do any contact until Day 10. That's the Tuesday before the game, so that's 24 hours before the game when he will be able to do contact at the captain's run when very little contact is likely to be done anyway."
Big news re Liam Martin for the Blues too - he can’t do contact until captain’s run due to the concussion against the Roosters.
Souths also unsure of when Latrell and Cam Murray can fully train. So three guys that will likely be underdone for nsw at Suncorp
— cody kaye (@Cody_KayeFOX) June 12, 2023
It's believed the Blues will not be able to see either Mitchell or Murray on the training paddock until at least Sunday, while head physio Eddie Farah is expected to be in Blues camp to keep an eye on the duo.
"The calf injury that ruled Latrell out of Game 1 is still potentially a bit of an issue so Souths have one of their trainers in camp here to keep an eye on Latrell. The other one is Cam Murray who has a groin complaint," Kaye added.
Blues head doctor Nathan Gibbs confirmed to News Corp Farah has been invited into camp on Wednesday, with the Blues to train on both Wednesday and Friday before a Sunday session which has been marked as the earliest date for the South Sydney duo to join full team training.
“Eddie Farah, their long-time head physio, who is excellent, he let us come in to show us what he was doing today,” Gibbs told the publication.
“We have certainly invited him to come in on Wednesday with that rehab progression. It is a really mutual relationship.
“He helped us and we are helping him. It is a collaborative approach which I think is a really good thing.”
The Blues will head to Brisbane on June 21 with five changes already made, although one of those is the return of Mitchell - the others are Mitchell Moses replacing Nathan Cleary, Damien Cook in for Apisai Koroisau, Stefano Utoikamanu to replace Tevita Pangai Junior, and Reece Robson taking the bench utility spot from Nicho Hynes.