PANTHER PRIDE | A big win for the mountain men tonight has them firmly entrenched in the top eight, ...
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NSW prop Luke Bailey has been cleared to play for the Blues tomorrow night after going down at today's final training run with a strained pectoral muscle.
Bailey was sent for precautionary scans with NSW team doctor Dave Givney revealing the strain was only minor. Bailey missed a large chunk of the 2004 season when he tore the muscle off the bone while playing for St George Illawarra, but scans showed no damage to the area which had been operated on.
The Blues continue to sweat on the fitness of Anthony Minichiello with coach Graham Murray to give the in-form fullback until the final minute to overcome a back injury. Minichiello was unable to take part in this morning's training session with Manly custodian Brett Stewart called into the squad as cover.
Meanwhile, a crowd of around 75,000 is expected for tomorrow night's at Telstra Stadium. Ground officals say 6,300 tickets remain unsold and they blame Sydney's bad weather for stopping some of the momentum in the build-up to the game.
However they say the playing surface will be in top condition at kick-off tomorrow night. The ground took more than 170 mls of rain - around seven inches on the old scale - in the weekend storms but was dry and firm when the Blues trained there earlier today. Peek accepts two-game ban