Mor­gan fine to play

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - LIAM BUT­TER­WORTH liam. but­ter­worth@ news. com. au

COWBOYS coach Paul Green says five- eighth Michael Mor­gan is mov­ing freely and feel­ing bet­ter than he has all year as he pre­pares to play just 10 days af­ter surgery.

Mor­gan will start tonight against Manly fol­low­ing a mi­nor pro­ce­dure to clean out an in­fec­tion in his an­kle which has caused him pain for much of the year.

The 23- year- old has still man­aged to be one of the Cowboys’ stand­outs this year and played his way into Mal Meninga’s Queens­land State of Ori­gin squad.

“He’s mov­ing a lot freer and in far less pain, which is a good thing,” Green said.

“He trained well and ( Satur­day) was the first time he has run ( since the surgery) and he said he hadn’t felt that good for a long time.

“It’s ob­vi­ously done what it’s sup­posed to do with the pro­ce­dure he’s had.”

Green hoped the lack of pain and the high of play­ing in Queens­land’s State of Ori­gin se­ries win over NSW would see Mor­gan re­turn with plenty of fire.

“If he was play­ing the way he was and putting up with that ( pain), hope­fully that might mean an up­lift in his per­for­mance,” the Cowboys coach said.

“Also I think com­ing back from that Ori­gin ex­pe­ri­ence, he should take a lot of confi-

He’s mov­ing a lot freer and in far less pain, which is good

PAUL GREEN

dence out of that and I’ve said it be­fore, hope­fully it will take Morgo to the next level for us.”

De­spite declar­ing Mor­gan fit to play, util­ity Ray Thompson was added to the Cowboys trav­el­ling party to Syd­ney as 18th man.

The Sea Ea­gles are com­ing off the back of a 38- 6 thump­ing of the Gold Coast Ti­tans and Green ex­pected them to be fir­ing at Brook­vale Oval tonight.

“They’ve had their best play­ers on the field con­sis­tently for a few weeks now and that’s why they’re back to play­ing like we know Manly can play,” he said.

“They’ve had a cou­ple of good wins and they’ve been in great form and it will be a great game, we’re look­ing for­ward to it. Brett Stewart, his com­bi­na­tion with Fo­ran will be re­ally im­por­tant and all those com­bi­na­tions are get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter each week.

“They’ll be a dif­fer­ent team to the one we played a few rounds ago,” Green said.

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