Warriors forward Jacob Lillyman looks set to make a return to State of Origin for the first time since 2011 after Queensland forward Corey Parker was ruled out of next week's must-win second State of Origin game with a facial fracture.
Parker has been a quality addition to the back of the Maroons' scrum but succumbed to an accidental knock from Broncos and Maroons team-mate Matt Gillett. His face was bruised and swollen and he risks damage to his eyesight if he takes a risk and plays.
His place in the squad has been taken by Titans big man Dave Taylor, who stands a strong chance of playing off the Queensland bench as the Maroons struggle to field anything resembling their first-choice side with NSW trying to claim the series.
Lillyman, who has made six appearances for the Maroons, was included in an extended Queensland squad on Monday night and is also a strong chance of taking the field next week.
Queensland went into camp at Sanctuary Cove on Wednesday but there was little positive news on the injury front, with Billy Slater (shoulder) yet to do any contact and a genuine touch-and-go case. Daly Cherry-Evans fronted the media in a knee brace and said he couldn't be confident of taking his place in the side.
Greg Inglis (ankle) wasn't there but seems to be the best chance of that trio to take the field. It leaves coach Mal Meninga with a fine line between giving his star players enough time to recover or giving replacements like Broncos halfback Ben Hunt time to adequately prepare.
"I don't know. Honestly, I don't know. I haven't seen him (Inglis) run. He's still in a boot. He's being treated as much as he can. The same with Billy and Daly. I can't give you a definitive answer," Meninga said.
"I trust them to give me an honest assessment of where they sit. They've made some pretty good progress and we trust them that they'll make the right decisions by the team."
Slater said he'd made progress but couldn't commit to a timeframe. His first contact session later in the camp would be his best guide of his chances.
Cherry-Evans didn't exactly give a glowing report on the progress of his knee.
"At the moment, confident's not a word I'd use. I'm hopeful. That's probably a better word. I can only hope that if I do my rehab properly I'll have a chance to play. If I go into the game not 100 per cent, there's a risk of further injury," he said.
Maroons Injury List:
Corey Parker (face) OUT
Josh Papalii (ankle) OUT
Greg Inglis (ankle) CHANCE
Daly Cherry-Evans (knee) DOUBTFUL
Billy Slater (shoulder) DOUBTFUL
- Brisbane Times
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