Lyon origin doubt

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Journey Man
NSW are bracing for another blow to their horror State of Origin campaign, with centre Jamie Lyon likely to be ruled out of the side for next Wednesday's match.

Lyon, the Manly player who has been under pressure to retain his place for the third game in Brisbane, suffered a slight hamstring strain last Friday night against the Bulldogs, and the Herald understands he is rated as severely doubtful.

Lyon did not train with his teammates yesterday, instead being put through stretching exercises, and is rated by some Blues officials as little chance of taking the field at Suncorp Stadium.

Lyon brought scans taken by Manly to the Blues medical on Tuesday. They showed a small tear to his hamstring, and he has not been able to train with the team at all since then.

"He hasn't been doing too much running," Blues doctor Dave Givney said. "He's just been doing the warm-ups.

"It's coming along slower than we had anticipated. The plan is, we're going to give him until right up until the end of the weekend. That's what [coach] Graham Murray wants to do, give him at least until Sunday. It's not a significantly nasty [tear], but it's just not coming along as well as we would have hoped.

"He's not running, and we're not going to run him tomorrow."

Murray last night said Lyon deserved to be given until Sunday to prove his fitness, but admitted the centre was "in some doubt".

"He's got a slight strain there, and we're not going to risk him," Murray said. "But we'd like to give him a chance to prove his fitness … I don't mind giving him until Sunday arvo, but we'll probably have a good idea on Saturday."

Manly coach Des Hasler said: "It pulled up a bit sore after last Friday night. He didn't train with us on Monday or Tuesday."

Blues selectors were deliberating yesterday who to bring in to the squad, although Parramatta winger Eric Grothe would be the likely choice, with Matt King likely to play in his preferred position in the centres.

Murray said: "The selectors are on to that one."

Lyon has been disappointing in his first two Origin games since his move back to the NRL, and the addition of Grothe had been touted after the Maroons won game two in Sydney on June 13.

Centre Matt Cooper and second-rower Steve Simpson also did not train with the Blues yesterday at Aussie Stadium, however they are not considered in any significant doubt.

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