Bulldog battles to put broken foot forward
"TO BE honest I need a miracle to be honest".
That's how a shattered Bulldogs skipper Michael Ennis answered when asked if he was any chance of playing in Sunday's NRL grand final against South Sydney.
The same could be said for his club now that he has admitted what every Bulldogs fan feared after scans revealed two broken bones in his mid-foot, the result of teammate Frank Pritchard's knee landing on it during last week's 18-12 win over Penrith.
Not even several pain killing injections would get him through.
"They won't help, I've played injured plenty of times but I've got two broken bones, in there," he said.
South Sydney believes Ennis is foxing.
But the veteran hooker, who has probably played his last game for the Bulldogs before joining Cronulla next season, said unless he woke up one morning before Sunday and the pain had gone, it was "highly unlikely" he would be playing.
In his absence Ennis thought playing Damien Cook, who deputised for him in the past or young Sunshine Coast discovery Moses Mybe in the No. 9 was a better option than splitting up halves by moving five-eighth Josh Reynolds into dummy half.
"Josh can handle the role really well but he is a quality five-eighth and it would be difficult to move him from five-eighth.
"His combination with Trent Hodkinson won the Origin series.
"In the end it is Des' (coach Des Halser) choice.
Bulldogs physiotherapist Steve McCullagh said with two mid-foot fractures it would be tough for Ennis to play.
McCullagh was much happier with Hodkinson's knee, admitting he wasn't sure the potential grand final match-winner would get through last weekend's game against Penrith.
"It was great to see him get through that game," he said.
"I have to admit I was a little bit nervous about it all and it was a pretty sketchy week for him but he got through it great which is awesome.
"He's obviously sore but if we compare how he is on Tuesday to how he was last week, he could barely walk last Monday but this time he is up and moving quite well, which is great news."