Gutsy Cowboys count NRL injury costs

Oct 1, 2017 - 4:31 PM North Queensland's John Asiata and Kane Linnett will undergo surgery as the Cowboys begin to pick up the pieces from one of the most brutal NRL finals runs in memory.

Already without superstars Johnathan Thurston (shoulder) and Matt Scott (knee), no less than 10 Cowboys played through injuries in Sunday's grand final loss to Melbourne.

That problem was compounded when already injured prop Shaun Fensom broke both his tibia and fibula in the third minute of the match. He underwent surgery in Sydney's Prince Alfred Hospital on Monday.

Also on the operating table soon will be forward John Asiata, who has a broken hand, while Kane Linnett undergoes a routine elbow clean out after having to manage the niggling injury late in the season.

For the remainder of their battered crew, it's hoped rest and recuperation will be enough to leave them rejuvenated for next season.

"Last night was just another example of some of the adversity that we've had to face this year, and it's only going to make us tougher," coach Paul Green told a gathered crowd in Townsville on Monday.

"It's going to make us better for next year.

"Whilst we tried our best last night we're not satisfied for not winning last night and it's going to make us better for next year."

Green revealed that winger Kyle Feldt tore his groin in last week's semi-final win over the Sydney Roosters, while Te Maire Martin (knee), Gavin Cooper (calf), Antonio Winterstein (hamstring), Justin O'Neill (elbow) and Coen Hess (knee) were all among the walking wounded.

Scott Bolton, who has stepped up in Scott's absence in the front row, has also played through the pain of a broken sternum since mid-July and had been receiving up to four painkilling injections in his chest before every game.

"I was probably worse heading into the finals," Bolton told AAP.

"I've been injected since (round 19) when we played against Souths in Cairns.

"It probably started getting better towards the end of the finals series.

"There are a lot of blokes in that position around this time. Especially through the finals series, and putting really good performances in, which gave us a lot of inspiration."

Asiata said everyone's willingness to push through the pain threshold was a sign of what the club meant to the playing group.

"It just shows how much it means to each other, to be able to be there for their mate no matter what happens on the field," Asiata said.

"No matter what kind of injury they have, they still make that effort to be the best they can be."

Even the relatively healthy players, like Michael Morgan and Lachlan Coote, won't get much rest as the World Cup begins in just under four weeks time.

The Australian Kangaroos will be named this week, while fullback Lachlan Coote was named in Scotland's provisional squad in August.

Source: AAP

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