Johns expecting Cronk to play through pain for GF gain
ANDREW Johns expects Sydney Roosters halfback Cooper Cronk will play through the pain in next week's grand final, however the NRL great says he will be a mere "passenger".
A report on the Roosters' website revealed Cronk went for scans following the match, with results coming back revealing a severe left rotator cuff injury.
The side has already started rehabilitating the injury and will be given until kick off to prove his fitness to play in the match.
Cronk suffered a shoulder injury in the first half of Saturday night's preliminary final win over crosstown rivals the Rabbitohs and struggled through the remainder of the match.
Despite his obvious discomfort during the match, the Roosters are confident he will be fit to play next Sunday. However, Johns is pessimistic Cronk will be able to have his usual influence over the game.
"He'll obviously play but he's a passenger," Johns said post-match on Channel Nine. "The whole second half he courageously put his body in front, but really in attack he wasn't part of it - it was all Keary."
The former Test halfback played the entire second half with one arm dangling by his side following the first half incident.
Going for a field goal in the shadow of half-time, Cronk was crunched by his opposite number seven Adam Reynolds.
His match-up against is highly anticipated. But the severity of Cronk's injury is the big question.
Although Johns expects Cronk to play, he is unsure the decision should be made by the man himself.
"Does a hard decision have to be taken, do you have to take the decision away from the player and the coach makes the decision?"
Johns' co-commentators Brad Fittler and Peter Sterling were more positive about Cronk's chances of being fit for the big clash against the club he won two premierships with in 2012 and 2017.
"We spoke about earlier, about how quick players recover with all our education now and technology," Fittler said.
"He'll do everything possible to get himself right."
That sentiment was echoed by Sterling.
"I think the very fact he stayed out there for the second half is a good sign he'll be there for next week."
Cronk, who copped big hits from Sam Burgess and Adam Reynolds in the first half and was targeted by the Rabbitohs in the second, was sent for scans on Saturday night.
There was more concern for Cronk, this time for friendly fire, when team mascot Rocky the Rooster patted Cronk on his sore shoulder.