Out of the sling: Can Cronk pull off injury miracle?
THE Sydney Roosters are notorious for playing their game cards very close to their chest and it was no different at Thursday's official grand final launch.
Both Cooper Cronk and coach Trent Robinson remained tight lipped about the extent of the halfback's injury and the domino effect it will likely have on their side.
Cronk, who arrived at the media conference without a sling, would only say his injured shoulder is painful.
"It's sore. I can't give you the answer, I know exactly what's wrong but I'll give you an insight... with all due respect you're on a need-to-know basis and at the moment you don't need to know," Cronk said.
Robinson was just as coy about how he'll reshuffle his team if Cronk isn't available for Sunday's decider against the Melbourne Storm.
All he was willing to say is that he has "got options."
At this stage, those options include playing rookie Sean O'Sullivan or Ryan Matterson in the halves. Centre Latrell Mitchell's name has been thrown around as someone who can cover for Cronk. Robinson named utility Mitchell Aubusson on Tuesday.
"We've got a few options there but I don't think I'm going to share those options but we are pushing hard for Cooper to play. That's our aim at the moment," Robinson said.
"We have some contingency plans there for him if he doesn't play. I won't be sharing them.
"We'll get our best team out there no matter who it is."
Storm coach Craig Bellamy says that while Cronk's availability is still up in the air, he would prepare his side as though they would be lining-up against their former teammates.
"We're preparing as though he is. We'll know he'll be doing everything, plus, plus, plus to be preparing for Sunday. He's a tough little Rooster, pardon the pun. If anyone is going to do it it's going to be Coops," Bellamy said.