John Asiata. North Queensland Cowboys during training at 1300smiles Stadium. Picture: Alix Sweeney
John Asiata. North Queensland Cowboys during training at 1300smiles Stadium. Picture: Alix Sweeney

Cowboys forward Asiata faces long haul in recovery

THE Cowboys are preparing to be without John Asiata for an extended period after the versatile forward suffered a suspected pectoral tear in Saturday's win over the Titans.

Asiata was forced from the field early in the second half after he was caught in an awkward position while making a tackle, with initial reports that he had suffered a dislocated shoulder.

But coach Paul Green confirmed in the post-match press conference that Asiata would have scans for a pectoral tear which would require a minimum 10-week recovery.

"We think it might be a pec tear, but he'll get scans to confirm. I don't like to speculate too much until we know exactly what we're talking about," Green said.

"You're always shattered whenever one of your boys gets an injury. I thought his start to the year has been exceptional.

"He's been probably one of our most consistent players so far so (I'm) really disappointed from that point of view."

The injury is a sour end to a big week for Asiata, who celebrated his birthday on Thursday with the news that he and wife Shailah are expecting a baby brother for six-month-old daughter Eleana.

Asiata has also been impressive on the field and he showed his superb ball-playing skills to lay on the opening try for Ben Hampton against the Titans.

The 25-year-old has always been a shining light of positivity during his time at the Cowboys, telling media after Friday's captain's run how he tried to stay upbeat despite their five-game losing streak.

"I'm always pretty happy. I'm down sometimes, but I always try and stay positive in every aspect of my life," Asiata said.

"When things go tough it doesn't mean that we've got to be sad and be disappointed. It's more about finding what we can do to make our life better."

Cowboys hooker Jake Granville said the playing group was shattered to see Asiata sidelined, but he was confident the Samoan international would overcome the setback.

"He provides so much spark for our attack and defence so it's sad news for Johnny, but he's a strong mind and he'll be back bigger and better," Granville said.