Nate Myles was lucky to escape with an elbow injury after being on the receiving end of an ugly tackle in Queensland’s State of Origin I loss, says Manly coach Trent Barrett.
Myles has all but been ruled out of Sunday’s NRL match against Canberra after scans on Thursday confirmed the Maroons veteran had torn a ligament in his elbow.
Barrett initially feared Myles had his shoulder ripped out by Blues skipper Boyd Cordner, but could now be back as soon as next week’s clash against Newcastle.
It also means the under-pressure forward would be available for the Maroons in game two.
“I think he’ll be right. If it was a semi-final type game on Sunday, he’d put his hand up to play. He’s not happy about it,” Barrett said on Friday.
“But I’ve got to think about the club and we’ve got a five-day turnaround after this. I’m banking on him being available for that.”
Barrett also said he had no issue with the tackle, which Myles bravely played through and went unpunished by the match review committee.
“(Cordner) didn’t mean it. It was more his body. It wasn’t a chicken wing, I didn’t think. Just put in an awkward position and lucky to get out of it with what he’s got,” he said.
“I thought it was more his shoulder. He’s come out of it okay, it could’ve been a lot worse.”
While the 31-year-old received good news on the injury front, he is facing increasing pressure to keep his Maroons spot following their insipid loss at Suncorp Stadium.
A number of ex-Queensland stars have already called for his axing, however Barrett insisted Myles was in good form for the Sea Eagles heading into the series.
“I haven’t read anything about any backlash to be honest. I thought NSW were dominant across the park and it was good to see,” Barrett said.
“Defensively he’s very good around the middle of the ruck. He tightens it up, does a lot of stuff here off the field, particularly with our younger guys. He’s certainly helping their development.”
Barrett also addressed rumours Myles could be granted an early release from the final year of his contract to join Melbourne in 2018.
“Nate’s contracted here until the end of next year,” he said.