Deadline for Cronk’s ankle is today
D-DAY has arrived for injured halfback Cooper Cronk who is set to run with the Queensland Origin side in its final training session at ANZ Stadium today to try to prove his fitness for tomorrow night's opening game against New South Wales.
Coach Kevin Walters and the Maroons medical team remain optimistic the swelling and pain in Cronk's sprained ankle will not stop the 32-year-old Storm star (pictured) from playing his 16th State of Origin game.
Australian Regional Media understands Cowboys forward Gavin Cooper will join the Maroons camp in Sydney as 18th man today, with Warriors prop Jacob Lillyman expected to start on the bench if Michael Morgan has to replace Cronk.
Queensland captain Cameron Smith said he saw Cronk, who has been receiving around-the-clock physio treatment, for the first time yesterday since the halfback sprained his ankle.
"He was walking unassisted without crutches and out of the moon boot, so that was a good sign," Smith said. "I reckon he's a chance of playing although there's no guarantee at the moment."
Meanwhile, late NSW inclusion Josh Morris said he was ready to renew his Origin battle with Queensland's Greg Inglis after replacing injured centre Josh Dugan.
"It's bad luck for Duges (Dugan) but it's a great opportunity for me," Morris said.