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4 days ago
Title favourites Melbourne have received good news today with injured star Greg Inglis' back injury much improved.
Inglis missed the minor premiers' 40-0 qualifying final thumping of Brisbane at Olympic Park yesterday after being kneed in the back at training on Saturday. However Melbourne high performance unit manager Mary Toomey says medical staff are happy with his recovery so far and don't believe he needs to have x-rays on his sore ribs.
Storm centre Matt King had pulled up well after suffering a neck injury in yesterday's game, while prop Ben Cross, who missed the match with hamstring problems, continues to improve.
The Storm will host the winner of Saturday's Parramatta v Bulldogs semi-final at Melbourne's Telstra Dome on Sunday week in the preliminary final, with the winner advancing to the grand final.
Fullback Billy Slater concedes they will lose some home ground advantage playing away from Olympic Park, where they haven't lost a match all season.
Meanwhile, North Queensland have a nervous morning on two fronts as they await news on the availability of Origin representative Carl Webb and Jacob Lillyman for Sunday's semi-final against the New Zealand Warriors.
Webb will have scans on a suspected torn calf muscle this morning, the Cowboys already resigned to being without their powerhouse prop for the remainder of the finals. Lillyman will come under scrutiny from the match review committee after being put on report for a high tackle on Bulldogs fullback Luke Patten in his side's qualifying final win on Saturday night.
The Cowboys can ill-afford to lose any more forwards with four members of their first-choice pack already sidelined for the season.
Elsewhere, four players from the Brisbane Broncos have been added to the Australian Kangaroos train-on squad for next month's Test match with New Zealand in Wellington.
Tonie Carroll, Petero Civoniceva, Justin Hodges and Sam Thaiday have all been included in the squad and will be eligible for selection in the Prime Minister's XIII side which is announced tomorrow.
But incumbent centre Hodges may be robbed of his Test spot with the NRL match review committee to today investigate a high tackle in Brisbane's season ending loss to Melbourne yesterday.
The Test train-on squad will assemble in Sydney on Wednesday for medicals and a light training run.