Parramatta Eels coach Brad Arthur has revealed star halfback Mitch Moses is expected to return from a back injury for the blockbuster clash against South Sydney Rabbitohs next Friday.
“He just completed a full weights session and I just spoke to him so I’m pretty sure he will be right for next week (Round 21) ,” Arthur said.
Moses managed to play through the pain barrier for more than 70 minutes in his Ampol State of Origin debut for the Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues after fracturing his back in the seventh minute. The injury was only discovered after Parramatta sent him for scans and he has not played since then.
Although the Eels are still sitting in the top four after last night’s loss against the Sydney Roosters, they have arguably the toughest run heading into the finals.
Behind Blue Eyes | Round 20
With games against the Rabbitohs, Sea Eagles, Cowboys, Storm and Panthers, the Eels will have to find their best form to remain in the top four with no team winning the competition outside it since 1998.
Despite the tough run, Arthur insists he will not rush his star halfback back into the side.
“If we say next week and there’s a risk, we won’t play him,” Arthur said.
“He’s done movements in the gym today that he wasn’t able to three days ago.
“We’ve got a seven-day turnaround for our next game, which should give him enough time to get three full sessions with the team next week.”
Arthur’s decision to not bring Moses back into the side will certainly be made easier after his son, Jakob, has emerged as a genuine option at halfback.
While the Eels were not up to their usual standards in their 28-0 loss last night against the Roosters, Arthur believes they can still match it with the premiership contenders if they remain disciplined.
“It was disappointing, we played pretty dumb at times and did some pretty silly things on the field,” Arthur said.
“I thought the effort was there.
“I know the scoreline doesn’t reflect that it, but when you put yourselves under that much pressure with some of the dumb things that we did, not playing as a team.
“When we play as a team, majority of the times we can win those games but I just thought we played as individuals tonight and did some dumb things.”