Jason Taumalolo tackles Andrew McCullough of the Broncos.
Jason Taumalolo tackles Andrew McCullough of the Broncos.

Taumalolo given every chance to prove fitness

COWBOYS star Jason Taumalolo will be given every opportunity to prove his fitness ahead of the Cowboys clash with Gold Coast Titans but Paul Green has warned his side cannot get wrapped up in the hype surrounding the Tongan superstar.

Taumalolo was named in the extended squad for the clash with the Bulldogs, and while he trained with the squad in the Captain's Run last Thursday, he was left out of the final 17.

Green suggested the lock forward, who put in a machine-like performance in the Cowboys Round 1 win over the Dragons, had come up just short of where he needed to be and having a full week on the training paddock would give him more chance for Friday's clash at 1300SMILES Stadium.

"We will see how he trains in the early part of the week. We have a full week ahead of us so that will give us a pretty clear indication come Tuesday," Green said.

But the coach said the side could not just rely on Taumalolo to come back and fix all of their problems after a "disappointing" 2-5 start to the season.

"He will make a difference, we all know how good of a player he is," Green said.

"When you get good players back like that they are going to make a difference, but in saying that everyone else needs to do their job too.

"If Jase does come back, all of us can't sit back and expect it's all going to be right, he is going to fix everything, because that won't be the case."

The former Dally M Player of the Year has been out since Round 2 after he sustained a Grade 3 medial ligament injury in a collision with Broncos hard man Tevita Pangai Jr.

Taumalolo was initially given an expected time frame of 6-10 weeks on the sidelines, and if he does return against the Titans will be one of the fastest turnarounds for an injury of that nature.

Only English powerhouse Sam Burgess has made a faster recovery from a Grade 3 medial injury when he returned for the South Sydney Rabbitohs in five weeks back in 2012.

Brisbane-based physiotherapist Brien Seeney, the man behind the popular social media account NRL Physio, said the six week lay-off fits the usual time frame for medial repair.

"Most in the NRL tend to return in 6-8 weeks which fits with the Cowboys initial estimate for Taumalolo's recovery time," he said.

"The MCL is a ligament in the knee is very important for lateral, or side to side, stability. So a return before that stability has been regained can pose an increased injury risk.

"But the good news is there are specific tests the medical and performance staff use to assess the function and stability of the knee in many different scenarios.

"If he's able to return it will be because he has passed this rigorous testing, meaning the medical staff are happy with the stability of his knee."