North Queensland prop James Tamou has been cleared of a serious neck injury, with the NRL club saying today his long-term playing future is not in any doubt.
Tamou left the field early in the Cowboys' impressive 20-12 win over Canterbury at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night, after a collision with teammate Ashton Sims while attempting a tackle on James Graham.
Just a week after the rugby league community raised A$1.4 million for Alex McKinnon in the Rise For Alex round, the NSW and Australian representative was rushed to hospital for scans after reporting ''pins and needles'' affecting one arm.
However, Tamou rejoined his teammates in Sydney this morning, after medical staff diagnosed he had aggravated a previous injury.
''Reassuringly, the scans came back as normal and James will return home to Townsville as planned later today,'' the Cowboys said in a statement.
''He will have further precautionary scans early this week, but is not considered to be in any long-term doubt for the Cowboys.
''Our medical staff believe he re-aggravated a previous condition in the incident in the first half of last night's win against Canterbury.
''Pleasingly, the strength in his arm, which was at a reduced level when James was replaced, has improved significantly in the past 12 hours.''
The Cowboys posted a photo on Twitter of Tamou giving the ''thumbs up'' at a recovery session at North Bondi this morning.
The club was earlier upset at a newspaper headline which suggested Tamou might have broken his neck.
In a further boost, the resurgent Cowboys are set to welcome back stars Matt Scott and Gavin Cooper for Saturday's round 21 match against Gold Coast in Townsville as they set their sights on the NRL finals.
After back-to-back away wins over Cronulla and Canterbury, the Cowboys are winding up for the traditional end of season surge towards September.
Scott was initially feared to be out for the rest of the season after suffering a cheekbone injury in State of Origin I.
Cooper too has been sidelined long term with a hip injury.
''Hopefully we are a chance of getting Matt Scott and Gavin Cooper back next week,'' Cowboys coach Paul Green said.
''They have both been out for a fairly long time so it will give us a boost and add some confidence.''
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