O'Donnell Given Ultimatum The drawn out contract negotiations between North Queensland and injured Test backrower Luke O'Donnell appear to have been fast-tracked after a Cowboys ultimatum. O'Donnell is due to meet with Peter Parr after the North Queensland chief executive said the NRL club board "need a yes or a no" from the off-contract star. The NSW-born forward is believed to be favouring a return to Sydney with the Roosters and Manly looming as frontrunners for his signature. However, Parr is not giving up in his quest to retain O'Donnell who is out for the rest of the NRL season with a hamstring injury. Parr spoke to O'Donnell's manager Wayne Beavis last Friday and hopes to be a step closer to finalising the backrower's future in Townsville. "Each day I am probably getting a little bit closer to a decision," O'Donnell said. "I am having a meeting with Peter tomorrow. We are still talking." O'Donnell has time on his hands to ponder his future as he recovers from hamstring surgery. He returned to Townsville on Monday after going under the knife in Melbourne. Manly has emerged as a new favourite for O'Donnell after it was revealed utility Michael Monaghan had been granted permission to negotiate with clubs in both England and Australia. Monaghan's departure would free up cash for the Sea Eagles to make a tempting offer to O'Donnell. O'Donnell would have been in the Test side that played New Zealand in Brisbane last Friday if he had not suffered a torn hamstring against the Wests Tigers barely two weeks ago. Instead, he had to wait for a delayed TV telecast in Melbourne to watch the Test - then fell asleep. "I didn't really watch it too intensely to be honest," he said of the Test. "I kept falling asleep. "Because I was watching it in Melbourne, I had to wait until about 10pm for it to start. "I was keen but was pretty disappointed that it started so late." The Cowboys have found it hard to combat the loss of O'Donnell and fellow impact forward Carl Webb (jaw). They have lost their last two games, sparking fears the Cowboys will repeat their disastrous 2006 run in which they missed the finals after winning their first six games. North Queensland's task does not get any easier as they try to rebound, taking on unbeaten Manly at Townsville on Saturday night. "I think everyone is trying to stay as positive as they can," O'Donnell said of the Cowboys. "It is going to be a big challenge (against Manly) but no-one needs to be told that. "We have to be well prepared for Manly. They have probably been the form side of the competition this year." O'Donnell has begun the slow road to recovery after settling back into Townsville. "I have been on my back every day. I've been enjoying a little time out of the house on the crutches once a day," he said. "I'm still supposed to be in bed as much as I can. That's it, it's nothing too exciting."