Johnathan Thurston is fighting to be fit for Origin Game 1 next week.
Johnathan Thurston is fighting to be fit for Origin Game 1 next week. DAN HIMBRECHTS

Thurston will put team first with shoulder injury

MAROONS champion Johnathan Thurston says he wants to play in Origin I but admits he faces an uphill battle to take part in the series opener.

Thurston vowed to put the team first and insists he won't play next Wednesday night unless the torn rotator-cuff in his shoulder has made a complete recovery.

But that won't stop Thurston doing everything possible over the next seven days to ensure he suits up for his 37th consecutive Origin game.

Anthony Milford is likely to make his debut in the No. 6 jumper but Thurston today uttered the words every Queensland fan wanted to hear.

"I would like to play," he said.

"I have a lot of work to do to be right, but that's what I am here for.

"If the shoulder is not right 'Milf' is here.

"The team will come first. If my shoulder isn't 100% I won't play.

"Kevvie (Queensland coach Kevin Walters) has given me until kick-off but there are a lot of training sessions to get through before then."

Asked what advice doctors had given him, Thurston didn't sugar-coat a potentially bitter pill.

"The risk is I tear it completely and that is the season gone," he said.

"There is a lot of football to be played but if I am not right I have full faith in Anthony Milford to do the job.

"They said it was a four to six-week injury and next Wednesday will be four weeks. If my shoulder is 85% I won't play.

"There is still a bit of pain there and I have to get rid of that, but the shoulder is getting better every day."

News Corp Australia

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