NSW hooker Robbie Farah hopes to be fit for the State of Origin opener on May 28 despite being told by doctors he’ll miss six weeks of action after dislocating an elbow.
Farah sustained the injury in the final minutes of the Wests Tigers’ 16-4 win over North Queensland on Saturday after being clattered by teammate Adam Blair.
The Tigers’ medical team managed to pop the joint back into place and scans revealed there was no fracture, meaning a shorter stint on the sidelines than initially feared.
“The doctors think six (weeks) – I am hopeful of being back before that,” Farah said.
“I won’t leave any stone unturned and I am pretty diligent with my rehab so hopefully I can strip a couple of weeks off that.”
Farah has become a key member of the Blues’ side after returning to the fold in 2012 following three years out of the team.
However his injury has potentially opened the door for someone to take his place with Parramatta’s Nathan Peats, Canterbury’s Michael Ennis and Newcastle utility Kurt Gidley all in the mix.
Farah says if he’s not fit, he will give whoever replaces him full support.
“I don’t see them as rivals. I am not fighting for a place anymore,” he said.
“If somebody else gets picked, I’ll be there doing everything to help NSW win that first game if I’m not there.
“It’s not about me. I just want what’s best for NSW.”
Ennis and Gidley have both tasted Origin before and are likely to have the nod on Peats, who has been outstanding for the Eels this season and a huge factor in their best start to a season in 10 years.
Peats was due to speak with media on Tuesday but was barred from doing so by Eels coach Brad Arthur.
But past and present teammates were happy to talk up the 23-year-old in what would be a remarkable rise for a player who couldn’t get a regular game with South Sydney last year.
“He’s a tough player who can play 80 minutes and is one of the form players in the comp at the moment,” Eels prop Darcy Lussick said.
“I don’t think he’d let anyone down.”
Childhood friend and ex-Souths teammate Adam Reynolds has no doubts Peats also has what it takes to step up to representative level.
“He’s a great competitor, he works really hard at his game and he deserves all the raps he’s been getting,” Reynolds said.
“He’s been playing fantastic football and he wouldn’t look out of place in a Blues jersey.”