Sport Johnathan Thurston describes isolation of long-term injury in wake of Greg Inglis's issues

17:42  19 may  2017
17:42  19 may  2017 Source:   MSN

Maroons face uncharted Origin waters

  Maroons face uncharted Origin waters Queensland will head into the Origin series opener without two men who've misses two combined matches in the last 22 fixtures. And then there's the doubts over Johnathan Thurston.Collectively, the Queensland trio have missed just two of the last 22 Origin matches in a period stretching back to when Scott returned to the side permanently for game three of the 2009 series.

In the wake of Greg Inglis ' s mental health issues , Johnathan Thurston describes the loneliness that athletes suffer when they are sidelined for long periods with injury .

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Johnathan Thurston of the Cowboys looks on during the round 11 NRL match between the Cronulla Sharks and the North Queensland Cowboys on May 18, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. © Jason McCawley/Getty Images Johnathan Thurston of the Cowboys looks on during the round 11 NRL match between the Cronulla Sharks and the North Queensland Cowboys on May 18, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. In the wake of Greg Inglis's mental health issues, Johnathan Thurston has described the loneliness that athletes suffer when they are sidelined for long periods with injury.

Thurston is on the verge of returning to the Cowboys after a lay-off due to a shoulder injury, and said he is expecting to be fit for State of Origin I on May 31.

He told the ABC that being forced to undergo months of rehabilitation, as Inglis currently is for an ACL injury, can be extremely hard to cope with mentally.

Cowboys coy as Thurston flies to Sydney

  Cowboys coy as Thurston flies to Sydney Recuperating star Johnathan Thurston has travelled with his Cowboys squad to Sydney but the NRL club say it's still not clear whether he will play Cronulla.Green said Thurston flew to Sydney to film a TV commercial but he would consider the Test half for the Sharks game if he recovered from his shoulder complaint suffered in the recent trans-Tasman clash.

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Souths and Queensland star Inglis this week checked into a rehabilitation facility where he is undergoing a series of programs and treatments to assist with his mental health.

"It's extremely tough. You're isolated," Thurston said.

"A lot of the times, if you're injured, you're training at 5:30 in the morning. You don't really see the boys when they're training."

"You're spending a lot more time away from home getting physio treatment, seeing doctors.

"And obviously if it's season-ending it's a mental battle for players to come to grips with that."

North Queensland captain Thurston said the entire rugby league community was behind Inglis, who he suggested could become an example for players who are struggling in the future.

Johnathan Thurston describes isolation of long-term injury in wake of Greg Inglis's issues

  Johnathan Thurston describes isolation of long-term injury in wake of Greg Inglis's issues <p>In the wake of Greg Inglis's mental health issues, Johnathan Thurston has described the loneliness that athletes suffer when they are sidelined for long periods with <g class="gr_ gr_4 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Grammar only-ins doubleReplace replaceWithoutSep" data-gr-id="4" id="4">injury</g>.</p>Thurston is on the verge of returning to the Cowboys after a lay-off due to a shoulder injury, and said he is expecting to be fit for State of Origin I on May 31.

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"We're all feeling for GI at the moment and I'm just really glad that he's sought help," Thurston said.

Greg Inglis of the Rabbitohs. © Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images Greg Inglis of the Rabbitohs. "Hopefully he gets the help that he needs and we see him come back and be mentally right in his own head.

"He can certainly lead the way in that arena, with players that have season-ending injuries but are battling mental demons as well.

"We saw Darius Boyd do it a couple of years ago, now probably one of the highest-profile boys in the game battling demons as well.

"Hopefully he comes out and can do a lot of work in that space."

Thurston expects to be fit for Origin I

Queensland and Cowboys fans will be pleased to hear Thurston is almost ready to return from his own shoulder injury, which threatened to keep him out of Origin.

"The shoulder is pretty good," he said after sitting out the Cowboys' past five games, including Thursday night's 18-14 loss to the Sharks.

"I was very close for tonight. I would certainly be 100 per cent if we were playing next week.

"With the shoulder you certainly need to take your time and get the strength back into it, because they can be season-ending injuries if it's not right."

The 34-year-old said veteran players had to be especially careful about returning to action too soon, and that he would not play in Origin if it were too great a risk to his season.

"The team will be the focus. If I get into camp and I'm not right, I'll make that decision."

"It's a balancing act at my age. It's about keeping fit and not flogging a dead horse as well," he said.

Maroons hopes Smith fires in 40th Origin .
Queensland will again rely on skipper Cameron Smith to lead the way in his 40th State of Origin game after Johnathan Thurston became their latest casualty.Cameron Smith and Johnathan Thurston at Maroons training earlier in the week.

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