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NRL: Injured star Siosifa Talakai on track to play Cowboys

Sharks coach Craig Fitzgibbon says powerhouse center Siosifa Talakai is recovering better than expected from a syndesmosis injury and is on track to make Saturday’s qualifying final if successful Friday’s captain’s race.

Talakai suffered an ankle injury in the closing stages of last week’s win over Newcastle when Knights striker Mat Croker landed on his lower leg in a hip tackle.

The Blues rookie was forced off the field and it was feared he might miss part of the final, but the man with the eighth-most tackles this season looks set to play against the Cowboys.

What helped Talakai is something called the TightRope binding, which helps stabilize the lower leg.

It’s a triple boost for the Sharks, with fullback Will Kennedy and Toby Rudolf also training heavily as they prepare to return after lengthy injury layoffs.

“He looks strong, probably better than expected,” Fitzgibbon said of Talakai, revealing that Matt Ikuvalu also avoided a lengthy sideline due to the TightRope.

“He did more work than we thought yesterday, so he looks good.

“He trained pretty well yesterday, so we’ll see how he does this morning.

“The TightRope acts with the same integrity that ligaments are meant to be, so having a wire in there actually prevented it from separating from those bones and injuring it again.

“It was a blessing for him.”

Originally published as ‘Better than expected’: Sharks provide update on injured star Siosifa Talakai