Cowboys name O'Neill for semi-final
Centre Justin O'Neill has a chance of returning for North Queensland Cowboys in Saturday's semi-final against the Parramatta Eels.
O'Neill has been named on an extended bench for the knockout final at ANZ Stadium, despite not yet returning to training.
He dislocated his elbow in Round 23 and was expected to be sidelined for four to six weeks, but providing he trains for the rest of the week, coach Paul Green reckons he'll be able to make a comeback at the five-week mark.
With the season on the line, it's likely the Cowboys will bring him back if he continues to improve before the weekend.
"Any of those experienced guys that have played in big games, having them back into the team would give everyone a boost I think," said Green, who already has Te Maire Martin and John Asiata under an injury cloud.
"He is experienced enough, played in big games, he's played in finals and rep games as well, he knows his body pretty well so if he gets through alright I'm sure he'll be able to manage that," he added.
Asiata is awaiting scans on a sore hand, which didn't prevent him from finishing the game when the Cowboys beat Cronulla 15-14 last weekend.
The forward is eager to take the field, even if he needs numbing injections in order to take the field.
"He just had a bit of a hand issue after the game, having not trained yet we don't exactly know how well he can handle that," said Green.
The Cowboys are 23/10 to beat Parramatta, who are 9/25.
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