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Thurston avoids NRL season-ending surgery

NZN 8/05/2017 Matt Encarnacion and Scott Bailey

Johnathan Thurston's representative farewell is in doubt after North Queensland refused to divulge the extent of a shoulder injury suffered in Australia's win over New Zealand.

Scans confirmed on Monday that the Cowboys skipper had avoided season-ending surgery but were cagey on how long they would be without their halfback.

"The injury does not require surgery, and it is not season-ending. Thurston will continue to be monitored and treated by the club's medical team," the club said in a statement.

Thurston's latest injury setback comes less than a month before Queensland's State of Origin series-opener in what would be his final campaign.

It follows a calf injury that had kept him out of the Cowboys' past three NRL games - two of which ended in losses resulting in the side falling out of the top eight for the first time this year.

His possible absence comes on the back of season-ending injuries to fellow Maroons star Greg Inglis and Matt Scott, leaving the state in a vulnerable position against NSW.

Queensland legend Wally Lewis backed the Maroons' depth in the halves, with Daly Cherry-Evans, Anthony Milford, Michael Morgan and Corey Norman waiting in the wings.

"Cherry-Evans might come to the fore because he has been in good form this year. DCE has been there done that. He has been able to enjoy the Origin spectacle before," Lewis told AAP.

"He knows what it's about. But the most difficult issue for DCE is he would be moving from seven to six. Maybe the coach would be after a full-time No.6."

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