Tedesco Trains While Cordner Watches On
NSW Blues fullback James Tedesco is confident he'll be fit to take his place in the side for the State of Origin decider after bizarrely injuring his ankle in a post-try celebration with Mitchell Pearce in Game Two.
The 24-year-old played through the pain but was eventually forced off for an HIA midway through the second half as the Blues fell 18-16, forcing a decider at Suncorp Stadium on July 12.
Tedesco hasn't played a club game since the injury but got through the Blues' training session at Ned Byrne Oval in Cudgen on Wednesday morning – albeit in a yellow non-contact bib – while skipper Boyd Cordner (calf) watched on, limited to playing the ball in one of the drills.
"It's coming along pretty well. Obviously I've been looking after it over the last week and I've been icing it and getting treatment on it. I'll have a little run today and see how it goes but I'm pretty confident I'll be sweet," Tedesco told media before the session.
"When I did it, I thought I felt it sort of crack and the scans came back and said I tore a few ligaments. At half-time it was pretty swollen and I had to strap it up so it was a bit of a hindrance for the second half and then I obviously got that head knock so it wasn't ideal.
"I've played pretty much every other game this year and my fitness is fine at the moment. I spoke to Laurie (Blues coach Laurie Daley) about that and my fitness is fine so I just want to get some kilometres in the legs before next Wednesday. I'll do that over the next few days and I'll be all sweet."
The injury has forced the electrifying No.1 to reconsider how he celebrates tries, and also helped him empathise with teammate Aaron Woods whose post-try fail during last year's series went viral on social media.
"It will probably be in the back of my mind. I was in the moment and I was excited for us at the time, but I think I'll just be a bit tamer next time," he said.
"I was excited and I think I just jumped up on Pearcey and as I came down, I sort of rolled over on it and I knew straightaway that it didn't feel good. I won't be jumping up and down again, I don't think.
"I was saying to Woodsy 'it's harder than it looks, celebrating a try' so I might have to keep my feet on the ground and just give them a little pat on the back."
Tedesco's availability is a huge boost for the Blues who are one win away from stealing back the trophy in enemy territory.
The occasion hasn’t been lost on the star fullback who sees Game Three as the biggest match of his career.
"Yeah definitely [it's the biggest game of my career]," he said.
"I probably don't want to think about that and put too much pressure on myself. I just want to take it as another game like how I've taken the last two games. They've both been pretty big games as a team and for myself and I thought I handled them pretty well so I just want to go into this game with the same mindset.
"It's a chance for us to create history. I think if we can get a series win this year then we can take it on for the next few years. We've got a young squad so it's pretty exciting for the future of NSW."
This article first appeared on NRL.com