Star play-maker Johnathan Thurston has been ruled out of the opening match of the 2017 Holden State of Origin series, the Queensland Maroons have confirmed.
Speaking from Camp Maroon on the Gold Coast this morning, Thurston said he was “devastated” not to be throwing on the jersey for game 1.
“I’m devastated I won’t be playing next week, but the call needed to be made and it’s the right decision for the team,” he said.
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While disappointed, Thurston said he is excited about the chance to watch Anthony Milford on debut.
“He’s a dynamic young player and I’m sure he will grab the opportunity with both hands and put in a performance that all of Queensland will be proud of”.
— NRL (@NRL) May 24, 2017
Maroons doctor Matt Hislop said while Thurston had made some good early progress on his shoulder injury since the start of camp, he wasn’t where he needed to be.
“We always had a plan that Johnathan had to pass through a number of stages, and if he ever didn’t progress through one of those, we would sit down and make a call,” Hislop said.
“We did some further objective tests late yesterday which showed he had not progressed to the stage where we could move on to the next step of skill work and contact.”
Jarrod Wallace has been added to the Maroons squad as the 18th man following Thurston’s withdrawal.
The Gold Coast Titans forward is expected to train with the Maroons this afternoon in their first field session.
Thurston is planning to stay on in Maroons camp to mentor Milford and offer coach Kevin Walters any assistance he may need.