South Sydney coach Jason Demetrius is worried about the health of superstar Lateral Mitchell.
Gunn Fullback – who is probably the most talked about player in the rugby league – has not played since he suffered a serious hamstring injury in five rounds.
Mitchell flew to America to work with a famous hamstring specialist, but returned to Sydney a fortnight ago but has not yet returned to the playground.
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New South Wales were hoping to pick him for the second State of Origin match in Perth on June 26. But that plan was thwarted when the Rabitohas did not name Mitchell for the game against the Dragons on Friday night.
On Wednesday, Demetrius was surprised when reporters questioned him about Mitchell’s fitness and whether he would miss Origin II.
“I’m not going to discuss my conversation with Latrell,” Demetrius said.
“Lateral knows where he is, I know where he is, and we’ll leave him there.
“I think it’s a bit unfair to Lateral, as a guy who’s been going through about 10 weeks of rehabilitation.
“There he is. It’s not in Latrell that they (NSW) lost the Origin Eye. He’s not in Latrell who came back sooner than he could play.”
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“It’s not fair to keep him there until he knows what he can do.
“I would love for Lateral to play Origin, and would love to play Lateral, we all do. But unfortunately the timing is not quite right.”
Fitler discusses Lateral’s Game 2 possibilities
Demetrius hopes to make Mitchell available for a 16-round game against Paramatman on July 2.
If he wins it through that competition, Mitchell will be available to select the Blues for the third Origin game, which will be played in Brisbane on 13 July.
“It’s not about Origin playing or whether he’s playing for us, it’s about whether he’s fit to play rugby league at the NRL level, let alone the origin level. And he’s not,” Demetrius said.
“We will not ask these questions if one of his arms is broken and he is six weeks (injured).
“As far as I’m concerned he’s going through his recovery. Nothing has changed for us.
“We hope to bring him back and be able to shoot and fit and prepare for Origin III if they need to.”
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