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Bulldogs five-eighth Braith Anasta is at long odds to take his place in the NRL club's sudden-death semifinal against in-form Melbourne next weekend - but Brent Sherwin will be there.
The bad news on Anasta came as skipper Steve Price, whose is on report for striking North Queensland forward Glenn Morrison, dismissed alarming statistics which show the NRL club has won only two of its past nine finals games
Anasta left the field midway through the first half of the Bulldogs' 30-22 loss to the Cowboys at Telstra Stadium, a defeat which consigned the club to a semifinal showdown with Storm at Aussie Stadium on Sunday.
Johnathan Thurston looms as the likely replacement should Anasta be ruled out, although coach Steve Folkes also has the option of playing the versatile Reni Maitua at pivot.
"The mere fact that he didn't feel confident going back on the field yesterday would probably mean he's pretty long odds to play this week," Folkes said of Anasta today.
Club doctor Hugh Hazard said the 22-year-old was a day-to-day proposition.
"He's bruised his sternum," Hazard said. "He broke his sternum two years ago and missed four weeks. It's not quite as bad. Hopefully in a couple of days it might start to settle.
"It's pretty sore now."
Sherwin, who has been struggling with a hip injury and was replaced with 10 minutes remaining in last night's match, is certain to play.
"He cramped up in both calves towards the end," Folkes told the Seven Network.
"Maybe it's a product of him having not done a hell of a lot of running over the last couple of weeks. He's no worse than it was this time last week, probably a little better if anything."
Price, who has an exemplary record at the judiciary, went on report after clashing with Morrison in the second half of last night's game.
Morrison appeared to head slam the Bulldogs skipper, who reacted with a right hand.
Price could be heard accusing Morrison of head-butting him when he was called out by referee Tim Mander.
"There was a head slam," Price said today.
"When we got up and we were holding each other, that's when he head butted me. That was a low act."
Price also defended the Bulldogs' recent finals record.
The club has struggled in the finals since qualifying for the 1998 grand final.
"Why would we be conscious of it?" Price said. "Every year is a different situation, every year you play a different team, a different spot, different players.
"I just find that a bit of a joke. It's like when you have a certain record at a certain ground."