Despite suffering a severe shoulder injury during Sydney’s Preliminary Final win over the Rabbitohs last Saturday night, Roosters halfback Cooper Cronk is backing himself in to play on Sunday, although he understands he still has a lot of work to do.
Cronk had removed the sling he began the week with when speaking to the media at a press conference on Thursday, and is still doing everything he can to get his body right for Sunday’s decider.
Roosters coach Trent Robinson admitted “the average player wouldn’t play”, although Cronk spoke of improvements in his rehabilitation, as he looks to line up in his eighth grand final.
“I’ve had a couple of improvements [on Thursday] and I definitely needed some,” Cronk said.
“I think most people in this room know I’m pretty diligent and pretty professional in what I do but I have gone up 1000 knots this week.
“It is just about whether I can manage it, can I deal with the pain and can I get enough range and movement and strength to get through a game of football.
“To be able to do some of the things to get stability, movement and range, it’s okay. It’s improvement. But it’s not enough to tackle Jesse Bromwich or Dale Finucane so I have got a fair bit of work to do.”
Cronk was asked if he would undergo tackling practice at training to test out the shoulder, and he understands he’ll need to be able to lay some tackles if he’s to play and help his side.
“Yes, it is going to happen on Sunday so I will have to do something like that,” Cronk said.
“Maybe I can pick a smaller bloke like [Luke] Keary but it is going to get to a point where I have to test it.
“I will tell you right now, the only reason I won’t play on Sunday is because I am physically incapable of doing it”.