Titans welcome back Roberts, lose Pulu

Titans welcome back Roberts, lose Pulu

The injury gods continue to toy with Gold Coast coach Neil Henry, giving him back five-eighth Tyrone Roberts and winger Anthony Don this week but taking away back-rower Leivaha Pulu with, of all things, appendicitis.

After starting at lock against the Rabbitohs last Friday, Pulu began to suffer stomach pains late on Sunday night and was taken to hospital, his wife Lina texting Henry to inform him that another of his players had fallen victim to the injury curse.

Due to the nature of the surgery Pulu is expected to be out for at least a month with 20-year-old Max King promoted from the bench to the starting team for just the second time this season when the Titans meet the Wests Tigers at Campbelltown Stadium on Friday night.

"Nothing surprises me anymore. We’ve been able to cover the full gamut so far but that’s a new one," Henry said.

Although Kane Elgey is unlikely to return until Round 18 after the Titans’ second bye of the season with a sternum injury, Roberts has been named to reunite with Ashley Taylor in the halves after missing two weeks with a shoulder injury and Don to return on the wing.

Although Don trained away from the main group for much of the session, Roberts completed Tuesday’s training session with his right shoulder heavily strapped and Taylor is confident he will be there to share the playmaking responsibilities against the Tigers.

"He’s been training and obviously excited to get back on the field, which anyone would be at this stage of where we’re at on the ladder and the amount of games we need to win to make the finals," Taylor said.

"He’s itching to be back on the field and we can’t stop him once he’s out there. I’m sure he’ll have a lot of confidence in his shoulder to do what he needs to do.

"I’ve been in the same situation with shoulders and stuff and it’s just a confidence thing. As long as he has the confidence I’m sure he’s going to be right for the game."

Joe Greenwood’s immediate playing future looked doubtful when he suffered another concussion after a sickening collision with Titans captain Ryan James in the second half last week but according to Henry he has responded better than when he received knocks earlier in the year.

Having passed his initial cognitive test, the Englishman will continue to be monitored throughout the week and won’t be risked if there are any indications of ongoing issues relating to the head knock he suffered.

"He has had a couple of head knocks but I must say this is the one he’s recovered the best from," Henry said.

"He was fine after the game; he was more worried about his cheekbone and getting a scan on that but there’s no break there.

"It was one of those things that stunned him at the time but he’s going through the protocol.

"He’ll do a bit of contact [on Tuesday], light stuff, not full contact, but if he pulls up with any headaches or anything like that he’ll be ruled out."

With three players lining up in Origin II on Wednesday night the Titans have been allowed to name a 22-man squad and Henry acknowledges that it is unlikely they will run out 1-17 on Friday night.

"There are a few ifs and buts but that’s why we’ve got a 22-man squad and I’m sure it will change. It won’t be 1-17," Henry said.

"It’s hard to tell given there are three players involved in Origin on Wednesday night so hopefully they get through that and are able to play Friday night but we need to take an extra couple of players down to Sydney given it’s a Friday night game."

This article first appeared on NRL.com

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