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Hodgson 'slim' chance to play Raiders semi

AAP logoAAP 13/09/2016 Roje Adaimy and Matt Encarnacion

Star hooker Josh Hodgson says he's unlikely to play in Canberra's NRL semi-final against Penrith but playmaker Blake Austin is confident he will return from a hand injury.

Hodgson suffered ligament damage and bone bruising when his ankle became entangled with Raiders teammate Aidan Sezer in Saturday's qualifying final loss to Cronulla.

"It's not great," Hodgson told reporters on Tuesday.

"Chances wise, it's very slim but I'm just going to do everything I can to try and be right for the weekend."

The Englishman, who has missed one game this season - through suspension - said he would give himself until at least Friday before making a call.

The final decision, though, will be coach Ricky Stuart's.

"I'm having to play it day by day. It settled down pretty well yesterday but today it's a little bit sore again," he said.

Austin, though, is on track to return from his hand fracture, having stepped up his training load.

Saturday's semi-final would be the first post-season appearance of his career.

"I'm quite confident I'd be able to get plenty done tomorrow and get my head right for the game," he said.

While Stuart will decide on Hodgson, Austin said he is likely to be the one to determine how much work he can handle with his hand.

"You're never going to have full tackling at training. It's never going to stack up going into the game. It'd be about doing as much as I can," he said.

"It's getting to the point now where it's just going to be mental. It's going to be making sure I feel comfortable and ready to head into the game."

Hodgson said he had a similar injury while playing for Hull KR in the English Super League when he took a couple of weeks to recover.

Asked what he will need to do to be fit for Saturday's sudden-death clash at GIO Stadium, the in-form rake said he's simply got to run.

"If I can, I'll be sweet. It'd be devastating (if I can't play). It's been a big year and I always want to be playing every game with the boys and for the team," he said.

Stuart, as expected, named the pair in his side on Tuesday, with Sam Williams making way for Austin.

Bench hooker Kurt Baptiste is a chance to start at No.9 if Hodgson doesn't play, although Adam Clydsdale could be a late addition.

"I'll be ready for whatever minutes I have to play," Baptiste said.

"I've got a good bunch of blokes around me, I've got good halves there that can help me out. So I'll be confident I can do the job."

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