Richards cleared to play

Pat Richards has been cleared to play in tomorrow's NRL grand final against North Queensland, giving the Wests Tigers a huge boost on the eve of the decider.

Richards suffered ankle ligament damage during the Tigers' win over St George Illawarra last weekend passed a fitness test this morning at Telstra Stadium.

Head trainer Bryan Hider spread the good news that Tigers fans had been praying for just before midday today as he drove Richards past the waiting media at Telstra Stadium.

"Pat's passed a fitness test and he will play tomorrow," Hider said.

"His name will be on a piece of paper."

Asked if it was a strenuous test for his ankle, Hider said: "We don't do anything lightly, mate. It's a grand final."

A relieved Richards, who is playing his last match before joining English Super League club Wigan, simply said: "I'm pretty excited, mate."

Club doctor Donald Kuah, who is also the NSW Institute of Sport medical director, said the injury normally takes 4-6 weeks to heal, making Richards' speedy turnaround one of the most dramatic recoveries in grand final history.

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