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Marshall hoping for return against Bulldogs

Benji Marshall

The injury-hit Wests Tigers have been boosted by the possible early return of Benji Marshall for Friday's NRL clash with Canterbury at ANZ Stadium.
Marshall hoping for return against Bulldogs
by AAP

By Ian McCullough

SYDNEY, May 2 AAP - The injury-hit Wests Tigers have been boosted by the possible early return of Benji Marshall for Friday's NRL clash with Canterbury at ANZ Stadium.

Marshall has missed the past two games with a toe problem and doctors recommended that he sit out at least another week to allow him to recover fully.

But with the joint-venture being struck down by a crippling injury crisis, Marshall was desperate to play and showed no ill-effects during training with his teammates on Thursday morning.

After the completion of the session, the New Zealand playmaker tweeted that he had been cleared to face the Bulldogs.

"Passed a fitness test today so pumped to be back playing with the @weststigers boys tomorrow night," Marshall wrote.

The New Zealand superstar later conceded he still had to pull up okay on Friday before getting the medical green light to take on the Bulldogs.

"False alarm twerps," he tweeted.

"Gotta see how I pull up tomorrow and get clearance from the doctor. Feeling confident though."

After naming Jacob Miller at halfback on Tuesday, Tigers coach Mick Potter also confirmed Marshall was yet to be confirmed as a starter for his first outing since round five.

"We will see how Benji pulls up in the morning before making a final decision as to whether he plays," Potter said.

"Benji is keen to play. I will take advice from the club doctor and physio before making the decision."

The Tigers are without seven of their senior players with Chris Lawrence, Blake Ayshford and Tim Moltzen joining Keith Galloway, Lote Tuqiri, Matt Bell and Braith Anasta in the treatment room last weekend.

Moltzen is out for the season after rupturing an anterior cruciate ligament against Brisbane, with Ayshford breaking his leg in the same game and Lawrence tearing a hamstring.

Potter also named Curtis Sironen alongside fellow rookie Miller in the halves as the Tigers try to end a four-game losing streak.

The Bulldogs welcome back England international James Graham from suspension after the front-rower was outed for biting Melbourne star Billy Slater in last year's grand final.

"I rate James as one of the best props in the game," Potter said.

"It's good to see him back, but unfortunately it's against us.

"He adds a different dimension to their game, has a good pass and draws in defenders."




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