St George Illawarra Dragons prop Jack de Belin is racing the clock to be fit for their round 14 clash with the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium on Monday afternoon.
The 25 year old is currently recovering from a shoulder injury he sustained while representing NSW Country Origin earlier in the year and is scheduled to return in Round 16.
The Dragons enter the clash with the Bulldogs fresh off the bye and if De Belin is to take to the field on Monday and at this stage, the signs are good, after he got through the contact session early in the week.
“We started to do some more contact on Monday with him, he got through that no repercussions then today did a whole lot more with Jason Demetriou, one of our assistant coaches, and a couple of the other players," Dragons Head of Medical and Performance Tony Ayoub told dragons.com.au
"Friday's going to be a big test with him because we'll put him under the blow torch with all his contact. If he gets through that we'll make a decision but I think at the moment we might just hold him back a week."
De Belin is hoping he can tick every box and be given the all clear by Club medical staff to play ahead of schedule and help the Dragons erase the memory of last year’s Elimination Final golden-point loss to the Bulldogs.
“I’ve still got the shoulder injury at the moment and I was due back in Round 16, but hopefully I’m a bit ahead of schedule,” De Belin said. “I will have to see the medical staff and see where I’m at.
“The loss really hurt to be honest and the way we lost the game was pretty disappointing.
“I would love to get back out there and put it to their forward pack.”
1. Jason Nightingale
2. Kalifa Faifai Loa
3. Euan Aitken
4. Tim Lafai
5. Kurt Mann
6. Gareth Widdop (c)
7. Benji Marshall
8. Leeson Ah Mau
9. Mitch Rein
10. Russell Packer
11. Tyson Frizell
12. Joel Thompson
13. Mike Cooper
14. Dunamis Lui
15. Will Matthews
16. Siliva Havili
17. Jake Marketo