Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Hynes ‘good to go’ amid lingering injury concern

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Nicho Hynes walked confidently into NSW Blues camp on Monday, declaring that his lingering calf problem will pose no issue when he enters the Origin arena next week.

The newly appointed Blues halfback failed to finish Saturday’s game with Cronulla against the Penrith Panthers, having experienced calf tightness after cooling down during a head injury assessment. 

Despite growing concerns he would be unable to return to training in time for Origin, Hynes confirmed that his scans showed no further damage had been down to his calf.

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The Sharks star arrived at the team hotel at lunchtime on Monday, arriving in the same car as returning Blues star Matt Burton, and debutants Zac Lomax and Cameron McInnes. 

Hynes said that he expects to be back running as early as Wednesday when the Blues hold their first field session at their new home base in the Blue Mountains.

“I got the scans. The Sharks and Blues performance staff have given me the all clear to be here and get it moving – I should be good to go,” Hynes said.

“It was a bit of a worry there once [the calf] cooled down in the middle of the game [on Saturday].

“I’ll be doing what I can the next couple of days to make sure I get on the field and prepare the best I can for this team to make sure I do a job for this team.

“It’s a dream to put the blue jersey on, and the [more] you can do it the better.”

Coach Michael Maguire has included Roosters veteran Luke Keary in the extended squad for the Blues, however, refused to hint at how his Plan B option will play out in the event that Hynes fails to meet the fitness benchmark.

Hynes made his solitary Origin appearance during game one last year, when he was injected into the centres to replace injured Manly star Tom Trbojevic.

“I’ve learned plenty of lessons,” he said of his Origin debut.

“I’ve matured as a player and person. I feel like I’m in a better spot than I was this time last year physically, mentally, and as a footballer.

Watch the 2024 State of Origin series exclusively live and free on Nine and 9Now.

“I am excited to get in and get amongst the team, [and to] sit down with the spine and see how we’re going to play.”

Maguire seemed equally convinced that Hynes will be fit to play next week, claiming he is “super-confident” in the halfback’s ability.

“He’s ready to go,” said Maguire.

“I’m really super-confident with how Nicho’s been.

“Listening to the conversations of what he’s had to face over his career and what he’s learnt.

“I’m looking forward to how he comes into camp because he’s a leader.”

Hynes will partner Penrith’s Jarome Luai in the halves for the season opener at Accor Stadium as the Blues aim to begin their campaign to reclaim the State of Origin shield.

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