Angus Crichton returns to Sydney Roosters fold after bipolar diagnosis
“It’ll be huge for us, he’s a world-class player,” halfback Sam Walker said. “He’s just finished up at a World Cup and we’ve missed having him around the club, that’s for sure.
“For him to get himself right, hopefully he comes back into training and to get him back in the team will be huge.”
The Roosters will be without Joey Manu (suspension) against the Eels, with Drew Hutchison and Corey Allan among the replacement options.
Meanwhile, a six-week recovery for Canterbury’s Nu Brown from a dislocated elbow has Bulldogs favourite son Josh Reynolds among the contenders for Cameron Ciraldo’s bench against the Cowboys on Sunday.
Reynolds’ game-time has been steadily built up in NSW Cup in recent weeks alongside 18-year-old playmaking prodigy Karl Oloapu.
Now 33, Reynolds hasn’t played first grade for his junior club since making an emotional exit at the end of 2017.
Coach Cameron Ciraldo was undecided on Monday as to his bench make-up and is short on middle forwards, to the point Jayden Okunbor shuffled in from the wing against the Warriors.
Prop Tevita Pangai junior remains at least another few weeks away from returning with a calf issue.
Penrith are expecting Liam Martin back from a hamstring issue, with Zac Hosking’s strong club debut last week keeping him in the selection frame as the club awaits news on Jaeman Salmon.
The bench utility was sent for scans on Monday after jarring his finger at training. The Panthers clash with Canberra on Friday will be Salmon’s first return to GIO Stadium since last year’s extraordinary scenes where Ricky Stuart called him a “weak-gutted dog”.
While Jack de Belin is pushing to return from a calf injury against the Dolphins, roster depth at the 17th franchise will be tested once more after winger Tesi Niu played most of last week’s loss to Brisbane with ligament damage in his knee.
Niu is set to miss four to six weeks and join game-managing half Sean O’Sullivan (ruptured pectoral) on the sidelines. Three-game NRL rookie Isaiya Katoa returns from an elbow injury to partner Anthony Milford at the scrumbase.
The Cowboys will also be without World Cup tourist Murray Taulagi (MCL) for a month while James Tamou requires scans on a foot issue.
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