Dugan 50-50 for crunch Titans clash

RACING THE CLOCK: Josh Dugan is battling to be fit for Saturday's crucial clash with Gold Coast. Picture: Sylvia Liber
RACING THE CLOCK: Josh Dugan is battling to be fit for Saturday's crucial clash with Gold Coast. Picture: Sylvia Liber

DRAGONS centre Josh Dugan still has some hurdles to clear to make it onto the paddock for Saturday’s crunch clash with Gold Coast at UOW Jubilee Oval.

Dugan hobbled from the field in his side’s last-gasp loss to South Sydney last week with what was initially be a potentially season-ending syndesmosis injury. Post-match scans cleared him of serious damage, but the Test and Origin rep is still racing the clock to take his place in the centres against the Titans.

“Josh started running today [Thursday] and he went reasonably well there,” club head of performance Nathan Pickworth said.

“We’re progressing him through the stages of rehab and he’s still got a number of boxes left to tick but hopefully we might be able to get him back on the park this week.”

Dugan is one of a number of concerns for the Dragons, with Russell Packer [knee] and Euan Aitken also currently in the injury ward with Pickworth saying the pair are still a week or two away.

“Euan’s come along really well and he’s on track to return to play at some point in this season, hopefully the next two to three weeks,” Pickworth said.

“We’ve gone through the process of meeting with surgeons to plan his off-season surgery once the season’s over but hopefully, in the next couple of weeks, we can get him back on the park.

“[Packer’s] progressing through our stages of rehab. He’s still got a couple of tests to tick off and clear before he’s ready to return to play and hopefully he’ll do that in the next couple of weeks.”