Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

It's Up to You, Billy; Slater to Determine His Own Fitness

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

It's Up to You, Billy; Slater to Determine His Own Fitness

Article excerpt

Byline: MARK BODE

RUGBY LEAGUE: aUpbeata Queensland fullback Billy Slater will be his own judge and jury come decision time on whether he is fit enough to play in next Wednesday's Origin decider at Suncorp Stadium.

The Storm phenomenon is racing time to recover from the posterior cruciate ligament strain he sustained in Origin II, with Maroons coach Mal Meninga giving him until Saturday to declare his fitness.

That decision would be Slater's alone, Meninga said yesterday at Queensland's Coolum training base after announcing the Maroons had decided on an initial 20-man squad for the decider.

The Queensland coach also revealed he would be unconcerned if the star custodian came into camp at the last minute, saying Slater knew the team's play book so well that he did not have to train with the side.

Slater is still in Melbourne being assessed by the Storm's medical staff.

Meninga said the lethal ball magnet had a run on Monday morning and was avery upbeat about the situationa.

aWe expect to see him when he's right to go,a Meninga said. aAt this stage we're very hopeful (but) uncertain a[degrees] if Billy tells me he's right to go, he's right to go.a

Queensland captain Cameron Smith cautioned against being too optimistic about his Storm teammate's playing chances, saying there was aa big difference between running in a straight line on a training paddock and getting out in State of Origina. …

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