The North Queensland Cowboys are reportedly expecting Chad Townsend to be ruled out of Sunday's Magic Round clash with the Sydney Roosters.

Townsend was one of two injury issues for the Cowboys to come from last week's flogging at the hands of the Cronulla Sharks, with Tom Chester now confirmed to have suffered an ACL injury that will end his season in the other one.

The Cowboys were hopeful Townsend would be fit to line up against the Roosters in Brisbane on Sunday given the ten-day turnaround, but Wacko's Whispers is reporting on Twitter that the club now expect him to be ruled out.

Head coach Todd Payten revealed after the clash against Cronulla that Townsend has been dealing with niggles during the week leading into the game, and they ultimately flared up after halftime leading to Townsend being brought off the field.

“He had a couple of niggles coming into the game, and he had a fitness test yesterday and given that he wasn't moving well and complained about it, we got him off,” Payten said after the game during his post-game press conference.

“Given it is a 10-day turnaround, we just made a smart decision around moving forward over the next week or two.”

It's unclear exactly what the niggles are, but given the Cowboys were at one stage hopeful of him not missing any time, it seems assured he will only miss one game against the Roosters.

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That would make it seemingly likely that Townsend, who has struggled at both ends of the park this season, will be fit to play in Round 11 when the Cowboys host the St George Illawarra Dragons on Saturday, May 13.

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For this weekend's game against the Roosters, either Ben Hampton or Jake Bourke will come off the reserves list to take over the halfback role in a halves combination alongside Tom Dearden.

Bourke is yet to make his debut, but comes with high praise, while Hampton has had plenty of NRL experience and can play just about anywhere in the backline.

Kick-off is set for 4:05pm (AEST) on Sunday afternoon at Suncorp Stadium.