Brain concerns held for Cowboy Martin
TE MAIRE Martin's NRL career is in limbo, with the Cowboys utility sidelined indefinitely after fresh medical tests failed to clear him for a return after a bleed on his brain.
The Courier-Mail can reveal Martin will leave Townsville on Friday and fly to New Zealand to spend time with his family as he awaits more clarity on the most serious health scare of his career.
Martin received results on Thursday following a brain angiogram - a procedure to examine blood vessels for potential abnormalities.
Doctors are reportedly pleased with the results, but will await the outcome of another scan in a fortnight before deciding whether Martin will be allowed to play again.
North Queensland's high-performance staff are taking every precaution with Martin amid fears the former Kiwi Test utility back may not play again this season.
Cowboys football-operations chief Peter Parr said the club was rallying around Martin, who last played for the club in their 22-12 loss to the Bulldogs in round seven on April 26.
"Te Maire is out indefinitely," Parr said.
"Te Maire has another scan in two weeks and that will give us an indication of exactly where things are at.
"Even if the scans in two weeks come back clear, he isn't close to a return.
"He's getting a lot of tests and scans. We just can't put a finger on all it how happened. We are seeking various opinions from experts, it's a difficult one, but the first thing is to get the bleed cleared up and getting him back to full health again."
Martin has been cared for by his parents, who arrived from New Zealand to help their son, but they have decided to return home, prompting the Cowboys' 2017 grand final pivot to seek more time out in Auckland.
The 23-year-old is reportedly in good spirits but has been left frustrated by doctors being at a loss to explain how he suffered the brain bleed.
Exhaustive analysis of Martin's games this season, searching for head knocks, have failed to shed light on his ordeal.
"He hasn't done any training and he has lost a fair bit of weight, so we're just doing our best to support him," Parr said.
"He went for a walk the other day and had no ill effects from that.
"Last Saturday was the first day he got through the day without having had any medication. There are some external signs that he is starting to improve, but football is the last thing on his or our minds.
"One of the frustrating things is in between headaches he has felt not too bad, but when he gets the headaches, they are really bad. The headaches have become less frequent which is a good sign.
"All he wants to do is be better. He isn't worried about football, he just wants to feel better day to day. His spirits are pretty good.
"It was always going to be small steps."